British natural gas imports increasing

Aug. 30, 2013 at 6:55 AM

LONDON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The British government reported the country is importing more natural gas to make up for declines from the North Sea.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey in June said there may be as much as 20 billion barrels of oil and associated natural gas available to energy companies eager to work offshore. Declining production rates and aging infrastructure, however, presented long-term risks.

Preliminary estimates revealed natural gas imports for the first six months of the year climbed 9.3 percent compared to the same time last year, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

It said natural gas imported from Norway and the Netherlands via pipelines accounted for 81 percent of the imports. The remainder came from liquefied natural gas deliveries, most of which came from Qatar.

The report said natural gas production was affected by a March 2012 gas leak at the Elgin platform in the North Sea. French energy company Total said operations at Elgin resumed March 11.

The Telegraph said demand for natural gas during the first six months of the year increased because of cold weather.

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