United Kingdom

Natural gas market and infrastructure

The natural gas market is under the supervision of the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM). OFGEM promotes competitive gas and electricity markets and is in charge of regulating the markets to ensure that there is adequate investment in the networks. The authority also aims to contribute towards curbing climate change and other work aimed at sustainable development

Map (natural gas grid / storage facilities)

Figure 1: Natural gas grid and storage facilities in the UK (source: National Grid)


Relevance regarding the energy supply system

In 2010 the gas demand of the UK increased to 1,093 TWh. Most of the gas was needed for generation of electricity in combined cycle gas turbines 34 %) and for domestic heating (35.7 %). UK gas imports have increased during the recent years due to decline in gas production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) .  Gas is imported from Norway (25 %), from the Netherlands (5%) and as LNG from Qatar (20%), with around 50% from the UKCS.  There are some LNG imports from Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and Trinidad 

Gas grid infrastructure data

The UK gas grid is extensive, being more than 280,000 kilometres in length, and providing gas to roughly 20 million consumers. The high pressure grid (operating at 70 – 85 bar) is called the National Transmission System. It is owned by National Grid, the sole TSO in the UK. Gas flows from the National Transmission System into the distribution level where odorant is added. There are 8 Gas Distribution Networks, which are owned by 4 different DSOs: National Grid, Scotia Gas Networks, CKI of Hong Kong and Macquarie. The distribution grid is split into 12 Local Distribution Zones and each has a daily flow weighted average calorific value (FWACV) regime, The aim is to ensure that every gas consumer receives gas at an equal calorific value subject to a maximum error of 1 MJ/m3 . 

CNG infrastructure data

There is negligible natural gas used in the UK transportation sector, where there are less than 250 vehicles on CNG/LNG, mostly dual fuel trucks.  There are only 5 CNG filling stations in UK and it is believed less than 5 CNG cars.