An industrial site with piping leading back to larger buildings under a blue and cloudy sky

Changing supply patterns

Where supply enters the National Transmission System across the year is expected to change. This creates uncertainties that could impact network capability and operability. We need your input to better understand future network requirements, to help ensure that we can continue to meet your needs.

2000s –> 2018  How supply patterns have changed

From the mid-1990s to 2000s, supply was dominated by the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Supply patterns were relatively easy to predict throughout the year as gas mainly entered the system in the north and travelled southward.

As UKCS production declined, new imports and medium-range storage sites were added to meet demand. A positive consequence of this has meant that sources are much more distributed around Great Britain. This has aided security of supply and brought available supply sources closer to demand points.

A diagram showing an outline of Great Britain and the changes in supply patterns


2018 -> 2050 How could supply patterns change going forwards?

The Future Energy Scenarios (FES) forecasts that over the next 30 years, UKCS production will continue to decline. In addition, Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) supplies are expected to reduce.

In some scenarios, the development of other indigenous sources (shale gas, biomethane and biosubstitute natural gas (bioSNG)) replaces these conventional supplies. However, in three out of four scenarios, imported gas will become even more important.

A multi-coloured chart showing annual supply patterns

Understanding your future network needs

To explore the potential impacts changing supply patterns could have on network capability and operability, we are looking to publish a document in the week commencing June 25th 2018 which:

  • illustrates how variability in supply pattern seasonally and day-to-day has changed over the last 20 years, and how it could change in the next 10 years
  • describes the challenges this increased unpredictability has created, and how we currently manage this operational risk
  • outlines how changing supply pattern impacts our ability to minimise the disruption caused by an unexpected supply loss.

The findings in this document will provide a platform for us to:

  1. engage with you on how your use of the network may change going forwards
  2. better understand the impact not being able to use the network with the same optionality as today would have on your operation

Help us to identify and act on future operational challenges

Your input will help us to test if we can meet your future gas network needs, while meeting our statutory and commercial obligations. Download our suite of documents and email us your feedback to [email protected]. We are also happy to meet you directly.

The views of stakeholders will shape the GFOP, so please do take the time to give your feedback and get involved.

About the author: Imran Abdulla ([email protected]is a Senior Gas Network Strategy Analyst in the Gas Network Development team in Warwick.