Thursday, October 28

UK Minister Says’No Immediate Concern’ on Gas Supplies


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(Bloomberg) — There’s “no immediate concern” about fuel supplies running short for consumers in the UK, Conservative MP Alok Sharma said Sunday.

Sharma, president of the COP26 climate initiative, also told Sky News that government officials “don’t see any risks going into winter” from rising gas prices about to hit British households.

“People should be confident that the supplies will be there, and that we will be protecting them in terms of price rises,” Sharma said on “Trevor Philipps on Sunday.” “But of course we’re not complacent about this.”

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Top UK officials are in emergency talks that will continue into Monday, led by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Read more: Energy Crisis Brings Fresh Chaos for Battered UK Food Supplies

Kwarteng met Saturday with senior executives from energy companies and regulators to discuss the jump in gas prices that’s threatened to shut suppliers and disrupt industries from fertilizer to meat.

He was due to meet with the UK energy regular Ofgem on Sunday and hold further talks with executives on Monday to plan a way forward.

Read more: Europe Faces Bleak Winter Energy Crisis Years in the Making

Europe’s energy crisis has helped push natural gas prices to records in the UK The squeeze in supplies and the jump in prices has forced at least five UK providers to shut.

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The executives assured Kwarteng there was no threat to supplies as the country moves into the colder winter months.

“Ofgem has robust measures in place to ensure that customers do not need to worry, their needs are met, and their gas and electricity supply will continue uninterrupted if a supplier fails,” the government said in a statement.

Read more: UK Energy Suppliers Go Out of Business As Prices Jump

Natural gas is crucial to power generation for homes and industry and for heating in winter, with more than 22 million households connected to the grid in 2020.

Bills will go up for 11 million households from Oct. 1, pressuring an inflation rate that has unexpectedly accelerated above the Bank of England’s 2% target.

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