Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As noted previously on this forum, the UK has been unfairly blaming it's gas woes - shortages and high prices - on a lack of liberalisation of continental markets.

A Sunday paper cites an upcoming report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates placing blame squarely on British ministers. In this case, they didn't say yes quickly enough...

A final draft of the report, A Close-Run Thing? by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which has been seen by Financial Mail, says Government decisions on a new gas pipeline from Norway had a profound impact on price levels in the United Kingdom.

It says: 'The clearest example of this was the process by which the British government from 2001 to 2003 dragged out discussions with its Norwegian counterparts on tax and other issues.'

According to the report, had the Department of Trade and Industry not delayed negotiations, the pipeline would have been laid and gas would have been flowing before last winter. It is scheduled to start operations this October.

The Secretaries of State in charge of energy at the time were arch-Blairites Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt.

The impact of the Norwegian pipeline would have been dramatic as it can supply the UK with 16 per cent of its energy needs. There would have been no gas shortages, prices would not have risen so steeply and industry would not have been forced into partial closures with extensive lay-offs.  Source

As for the future, as if Bliar and NuLabour plc don't have enough trouble...

As far as gas supplies and prices this winter are concerned, CERA warns that Britain could be heading for 'another winter of discontent for the third year in a row'.

It says supply and demand for gas will be finely balanced. If all the new pipelines from Norway and the Continent are on time and new storage facilities are completed, prices should start to fall.

But it warns: 'If we are wrong and if physical factors lead to real shortages this winter as well, the reaction is likely to be very much stronger and very much more damaging both politically and to the gas industry.'

No doubt the Ministers will do the indecent thing and moan about the continentals rather than fall on their swords if this comes to pass...

by Nick Oz on Sun Jul 30th, 2006 at 01:28:23 PM EST
Hey Nick...I haven't seen you around...welcome to the fray!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Jul 30th, 2006 at 02:25:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the tip, Nick!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 30th, 2006 at 03:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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