Industry body Oil & Gas UK and the Gas Forum have criticised a decision by the European Energy regulator regarding changes to the EU Network codes.
A call has been made for the UK to retain its existing ‘gas day’ of 6am until 6am.
However ACER , the European Energy Regulator, has decided that, from October 1 2015 the UK gas market will have to operate two different gas days for its upstream and downstream network.
It means the upstream day will operate from 6am until 6am and the downstream day will operate from 5am until 5am at most terminals bringing UK continental shelf gas to the National Transmission System (NTS).
The managing director of the Gas Forum, David Cox, said the mismatch could cause an increased imbalance charges for shippers amounting to £20million per year.
He said: “Part of these incremental costs will be passed on to UK consumers through the cost of gas purchased by suppliers at the National Balancing Point (NBP).
“If NBP trading liquidity is impaired, the cost borne ultimately by UK consumers could be significantly greater.”
Oil & Gas UK and the Gas Forum are now engaged with NTS shippers to investigate new commercial and legal arrangements at the UK upstream-downstream interface to mitigate the financial cost of operating with two gas days and two sets of gas flow data.
Marshall Hall, Oil & Gas UK’s energy policy manager, said: “All network codes need to be capable of revision, based on cost-benefit analysis, to reflect changes in market structure or to address unintended consequences.
“Since July 2014, when we applied to ACER for the amendment, it has been clear that there is currently no proper governance for the emerging EU Network Codes and no possibility of amendment based on cost-benefit analysis.
“We supplied all the information requested by ACER but it was unwilling or unable to assess our key arguments about the efficiency of existing UK-continent interconnector gas trade or the costs and market risks being introduced in the UK by the Capacity Allocation Mechanisms (CAM) and Balancing (BAL) Network Codes.
“The early Network Codes such as CAM and BAL were based on a highly prescriptive, ‘one size fits all’ model of EU-wide harmonisation and were not subject to full assessment of their combined impact.
“The limits of this flawed approach have recently been recognised in the development of the proposed Tariffs Network Code.
“It is regrettable that, in the UK, the EU network codes agreed so far will bring disruption, additional costs and a loss of trading flexibility at Bacton and no expected benefits to UK or other EU consumers.
“Completing the internal market is indeed a worthy goal of national and EU policy-makers and regulators but it needs to be done intelligently, based on the removal of observable barriers to trade, rather than a top-down imposition of a ‘one size fits all’ model.”