Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Kwarteng: UK aims to ‘drive down’ amount of gas being taken from Russia

© PAcambo
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Even the “tiny fraction” of gas that the UK takes from Russia is “too much”, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Kwarteng said reliance on Russian gas has been the “Achilles heel” of the West’s sanctions regime against Vladmir Putin.

Though the UK is not dependent in the same way – it only takes around 4% of its gas from Russia – the amount of still “too much” in light of the invasion of Ukraine, Kwarteng said.

“That is why the Government is urgently reviewing what can be done to drive this down even further, while maintaining our strong security of supply,” he added.

European and British gas prices hit record highs on Friday as the war in Ukraine continued, with the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) benchmark rising above 500p a therm, breaching a previous record set in December.

Mr Kwarteng described Vladmir Putin as having a “malign grip” on the West, through its role as the world’s largest exporter of pipeline gas.

“For too long, Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has left the Continent vulnerable to blackmail and allowed Putin to pull strings.

“Russia is effectively weaponising its dominance over the European gas supply for political ends.”

russia uk gas © Ukrinform/Shutterstock
Rescuers carry a wounded person on the stretcher as they respond to shelling by Russian troops of central Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.<br />Consequences of shelling in central Kharkiv – 01 Mar 2022

Mr Kwarteng highlighted that Russia’s position as such a major exporter sends “the global market into frenzy” which UK and global customers are vulnerable to.

He said that, now more than ever, “we must focus on generating cheaper, cleaner power in Britain” to improve energy independence.

That includes offshore wind, solar and tidal power, as well as “reversing 30 years of drift on nuclear power”, and looking at hydrogen longer-term.

It also means “we need to back North Sea oil and gas while we transition to cheap, clean power”.

russia uk gas © Shutterstock
Homegrown energy supply is a matter of “national security”, Kwarteng said.

Creating a homegrown energy system is “a matter of national security”, he said, and ensures the UK isn’t “held hostage by energy prices set by international markets”.

“Given Russia is the dominant supplier of gas, and effectively controls the price – even the price of gas produced in the UK – we need to diversify our energy mix.

“The most important priority for any government should be the safety and security of its people.

“Leaving Britain continually exposed to a market that can be manipulated by Putin or anyone else would be a complete dereliction of duty.”

 

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts