Executive Summary The UK became a net importer of gas in 2004 and has become increasingly dependent on imports of both Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and gas via pipelines from mainland Europe. However, the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) still remains an important source of gas with current UKCS production meeting 40% to 50% of the UK’s peak winter demand and 55% of annualised requirement. Import capacity significantly exceeds forecast supply and imports are expected to meet a further 35 – 40% of peak winter demand, with storage meeting the remaining supply requirements. UKCS oil production is also significant, although there is much greater international trading in oil and less dependence on UK sources to meet demand. However, its significance is that some 60% of UKCS gas production is associated with oil production, without which this gas would not be produced
Any disruption in oil or gas supplies has the potential to impact consumers on a regional or national scale. Management of these disruptions is therefore important for the health, security and economic wellbeing of the nation.
As lead Government Department for energy, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has responsibility for coordinating the response to disruptions (or potential disruptions) to the energy supply chain. A system of communications between industry, National Grid and DECC will be implemented to gain a complete understanding of the supply and demand “scene” for several days ahead in order to establish whether there is potential for a national gas supply shortfall, assess potential consequences and then develop of crisis management and mitigation measures.
This Crisis Management Briefing Pack provides a description the roles and responsibilities of upstream DECC, National Grid and industry within that system, although it does not give a detailed description of the site-specific actions which would be taken by the oil and gas operators or National Grid. Downstream roles and responsibilities are also outside the remit of this document.
Under arrangements in place since 2002, which have been discussed and approved with industry, and practised annually in exercises, this crisis management system has two key stages: