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#77435
Clark

“I read that this is the highest price since 16 years ago…”

So the price was this high, sixteen years ago, or it’d be “a record high”.

The spot price for gas has done this sort of thing before, much more recently than sixteen years ago. In 2018, while everyone was distracted by the Skripal fiasco, the UK nearly ran out of gas:

https://squonk.tk/blog/2015/03/15/the-general-discussion-thread/comment-page-94/#comment-28449

The reason is that, uniquely in Europe, the UK no longer has any long term gas storage. It used to; a depleted gas field at a place called Rough in the North Sea. Rough could hold enough gas to supply the UK for about a week, with no other sources of supply. But Blair’s mob sold it off, to Centrica Storage, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centrica the energy company.

The contract specified that the new owners would maintain it, as a “strategic” facility of the UK, ie. as important as nuclear weapons. But they didn’t. Instead, Centrica used Rough for playing the market; they pumped it up when gas was cheap and sold it off again when the price was high – which shouldn’t be done with an old gas field, it should be kept pressurised, as a reserve for times of emergency. After a decade with no maintenance Rough fell into disrepair. Instead of suing Centrica for breach of contract, the government let them close it.

The 2018 UK gas crisis went almost entirely unreported except by the Financial Times.