Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gas Prices Fear as Russia Talks Stall

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gas Prices Fear as Russia Talks Stall

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM NICHOLLS

BRITISH business should be braced for another winter of energy discontent as natural gas prices for delivery in six months' time have spiked amid fears that suppliers will struggle to meet peak demand.

Gas for delivery in November is now around 80p a therm - a rise of about a third in just two weeks - suggesting a further increase in utility bills is on the way.

The price spike comes amid growing concerns surrounding the security of future gas supplies into the UK as the country becomes a larger importer of supplies as domestic resources are exhausted.

Concerns in the market have been increased by the seeming failure of talks to try to secure supply guarantees-from Russia into the EU.

These negotiations were promoted at the recent G8 meeting of industrial nations, but hopes of a deal appear to be all but over, with both sides citing a lack of trust.

That is a worry for UK suppliers including the country's largest, Centrica, which is currently in negotiation with giant Russian gas group Gazprom over long-term supply contracts. …

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