Socialist Worker

Rising prices while gas is free

Issue No. 2022

Gas was being given away in Britain last week after wholesale prices plunged following a surge in imports from Norway.

Yet rising wholesale prices was the excuse used over the last three months to justify soaring domestic bills. Will we now see the prices fall?

A combination of gas starting to flow through the new Langeled pipeline from Norway and mild weather have led to a glut.

There were reports of traders paying up to 5p a therm for people to take gas off their hands. Next year when Langeled starts operating at full capacity it will be able to deliver 74 million cubic metres of gas a day, or about a fifth of peak British demand.

National Grid, the gas network operator, said 344 million cubic metres were available in Britain last week compared with demand of 234 million cubic metres. Following the logic of the market, British suppliers started pumping gas from the North Sea to Belgium.

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Sat 14 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2022
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