Due to Western opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fears have been raised that Europe could be facing a winter of hell if Vladimir Putin decides to cut off gas supplies. These fears soared further after Moscow slashed off crucial supplies to several countries last week, forcing nations to revert to coal and trigger emergency warnings, prompting fears of blackouts. However, Britain has now revealed that it will cripple Putin’s chokehold on the continent and slash red tape on gas flowing from the North Sea.
Under Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s new plans, lower-quality gas extracted from North Sea reserves will soon be pumped into Britain’s pipelines.
The UK is looking to make the most of the natural gas found in the North Sea, which would have been left unrecovered even as household energy bills skyrocket.
Mr Kwarteng is now mulling over plans to allow less efficient lower-calorie gas to be piped into the country’s networks, the Telegraph reports.
Officials are currently preparing to make a long-term change in Britain’s energy system, which could come into effect in a few months.
However, reports say that Mr Kwarteng is also prepared to use emergency powers to get a faster decision if needed.
This is a significant reversal of the Business Secretary’s previous stance when last September he rejected calls from producer Neptune Energy to relax the rules amid pressure to preserve the Government’s climate targets.
At the time a Government source noted it was “not a supply emergency” and that such a move would “have no material effect on the price”.
However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed that outlook, as ministers are now reportedly drawing up plans to ration electricity for six million households in the face of energy shortages.
READ MORE: Energy crisis deepens as six million UK households now face BLACKOUTS
The war has aggravated a global fossil fuel energy crisis and has put European energy security at risk, as Putin has threatened to shut off Russian flow of oil and natural gas in response to Western sanctions.
Last week, Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas giant, slashed supplies delivered to Germany, Italy and Slovakia.
As the UK vowed to end the imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, the Government is ready to bolster its electricity supply by extending the life of coal and ageing nuclear power stations.
According to previous reports, Government modelling of a “reasonable” worst-case scenario predicts significant gas shortages in winter if Vladimir Putin decides to cut off more supplies to the EU.
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