When there is imminent disruption to oil and gas supplies, or exceptionally high gas demand occurs which results in significant deterioration of the supply situation, specific emergency action may need to be taken by DECC ERT and National Grid in collaboration with both upstream and downstream industry. The NEC may declare a Potential Gas Emergency (Stage 1). The DECC Upstream Alert Status will escalate to AMBER (if not already at that level in response to a Sudden Impact).
As directed by the NEC, National Grid will shed interruptible load, utilise available system gas and seek additional beach gas (if necessary relaxing the gas specification to allow the use of emergency specification gas as defined in GS(M)R Schedule 3 Part 2) through normal market mechanisms.
Producers/terminal operators will respond to shipper nominations for additional emergency specification gas, where available, as requested by National Grid. Contingency plans at operational sites may be implemented or escalated.
At this stage, the normal gas market is still expected to be able to manage that disruption or demand without the need to resort to non-market measures. However DECC UJRT will consider the potential need for Directions under Orders in Council, and make appropriate preparation.