The National Grid has doubled the number of emergency exercises, from two days to four, as they prepare for a number of difficult scenarios for the UK, including energy rationing. The practice, which is part of “Exercise Degree”, will be wargamed on the 13 and 14 of September, as well as on the 4 and 5 of October. These increasingly intense exercises come as the whole of Europe prepares for a winter of hell as Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to cut off gas supplies completely.
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The Russian leader has increasingly tightened natural gas supplies flowing into the EU< which is heavily reliant on Moscow for energy.
Even though the UK imports little from Russia directly, a gas-starved EU could push gas prices to astronomical levels and even risks major UK suppliers like Norway to redirect their flows to the bloc.
In a briefing document, the National Grid said: “The aim of this exercise is to demonstrate that the gas industry is prepared and able to meet its obligations in the event of a Network Gas Supply Emergency (NGSE).”
The annual operation was last held in September 2021 and only ran for two days.
The National Grid noted that the company had made arrangements for this year’s exercise back in January.
During that time, a month before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin had already begun squeezing supplies to Europe in a bid to exert political pressure on the EU.
A National Grid spokesperson said: “Exercise Degree is the latest in a long series of annual exercises which go back to 1996 when the Network Emergency Co-ordinator role was created.
“The exercises enable National Grid Gas, government, and industry participants to test the effectiveness of industry-wide emergency arrangements in order to prevent, and (if unavoidable) respond to a gas supply emergency.
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