Britain to ramp up gas transit to Europe – reports

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Exports are expected to surge as the continent shies away from using Russian energy

The UK could become a “transit” country for natural gas supplies to Europe this summer, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday, citing data by British energy giant National Grid. Europe, which relies on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas, seeks to cut imports by two-thirds in 2022.

National Grid predicts a surge in gas exports from Britain to Europe during the six months to September as the continent starts to refill storage sites ahead of next winter. It estimates that exports could reach 5.1 billion cubic meters this summer.

According to the energy firm, gas is piped into Britain from the North Sea, Norway, and from ships sent from all over the world in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It can then be sent on to Europe via pipelines to Belgium and Holland.

“There is a high uncertainty around Russian gas supplies going into the summer and Europe may have to rely on LNG, including via the GB [British] market and interconnector flows, to refill its storage stocks,” National Grid said on Thursday in its annual summer gas outlook.

“We could see the UK terminals and the national transmission system being used as a transit for gas going into Europe via the interconnectors,” the statement added.

Britain has three terminals where LNG can be converted back into gaseous form, in Wales and Kent. That means large volumes of gas can be imported into Britain from the US or elsewhere before being piped to Europe.

However, around 10-12% of LNG supplies to the UK have come from Russia in recent years, accounting for about 3% of the UK’s total gas supply. The country plans to stop these imports this year.

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