Australia hands UK energy lifeline via gas supplies

The Attalos gas tanker at sea (UK)
The Attalos gas tanker

Britain has been handed a lifeline, with the first shipment of natural gas from Australia arriving in the UK, Express reports.

For the first time in six years, Europe has turned towards Australia for gas supplies, as a shipment of liquified natural gas (LNG) arrived in the UK.

Related article: UK bracing for possible January blackouts

The Attalos gas tanker arrived at the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent this week, as fears of a gas shortage continue. European leaders are bracing themselves for a nightmarish winter amid concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin will cut off gas supplies completely.

The EU, which imported 40 per cent of its gas from Russia last year, is in a dire situation as the Russian leader has increasingly tightened natural gas supplies flowing into the fuel-starved continent.

Even though the UK imports little from Russia directly, a gas-starved EU could push gas prices to astronomical levels and even risk major UK suppliers like Norway redirecting their flows.

While some of the natural gas from the Australian shipment will be used in the UK, a majority of it will likely flow into Europe through interconnecting pipelines.

These pipelines in turn could send gas back into the UK during the winter months when demand will be much higher.

Related article: ACCC forecasts further gas woes for 2023

The UK is planning for several days over the winter when cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to organised blackouts for industry and even households.

Under the government’s latest “reasonable worst-case scenario”, the UK could face an electricity capacity shortfall totalling about a sixth of peak demand—even after emergency coal plants have been fired up.

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