Brits face power blackouts this winter over low stockpiles of gas, warns expert

Brits could be subjected to power blackouts this Christmas and winter due to an “energy crunch”, warn experts.

According to reports, the UK and Europe have the lowest stockpiles of gas in a decade, and energy experts are warning that it could lead to blackouts.

Jeremy Weir, of commodity trading giant Trafigura, told the Financial Times' Commodities Asia Summit yesterday: “There’s a real concern if we have a cold winter we could have rolling blackouts in Europe.

“We haven't got enough gas at the moment, quite frankly.

“We're not storing for the winter period.

“We are not seeing the replacement of reserves.

“Oil has gone from a 15-year reserve life to a 10-year reserve life in a short period of time.”

The warning comes as wholesale energy prices spiked to record levels, and, yesterday, two more small British suppliers, Neon Reef and Social Energy Supply, went bust, leaving 35,500 customers without a provider.

Russia's refusal to approve a new gas pipe line – Nord Stream 2 – has also increased the pressure, and Germany's approval of the same project was suspended just yesterday, too.

German's leadership said that the project would not approve it until the company responsible for it, which is registered in Switzerland, transfers its main assets and “staffing budget” to its German subsidiary.

“A certification for the operation of Nord Stream 2 will only be considered once the operator is organised in a legal shape compliant with German law,” the regulator said.

Since the suspension, UK and EU wholesale gas prices surged 17%, leaving ordinary Britain's feeling the pinch as we head into the winter months.

Mr Weir also said that the oil market is “very, very tight” and that a barrel of oil could reach $100 in the long term.

He said: “There are no freely available barrels.”

This could further impact petrol prices, which have topped £1.50 per litre in some parts of the UK.

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