The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.

Squonk.

[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

17,284 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Nothing wrong with starting now, but we need what we’ve got to work while it’s being built.

    Sorry Phil, for my own deficiencies.

  2. Clark

    Come on mate. Sorry to have barked.

    We are not simply working with what we have got while it’s being built. Fracking is investing in the status quo.

  3. I haven’t supported fracking, and Squonk said it’s probably not economically viable. Squonk primarily advocates strengthening and extending the electricity grid; it was Squonk who enlightened me on that issue.

    Squonk said that fracking releases less CO2 than LNG transported by ocean, and that’s probably true; the tankers propulsion is rated at 45 megawatt, and it takes each one eight days to get to the UK.

    But your argument is also valid – any fossil fuel deposits that are drilled into will be burned, so as regards eventual total CO2 emissions, it’s best to leave it in the ground.

    We’re down to shit choices. We could just let the vulnerable die of cold, too.

  4. Whereas Fred is just advocating fracking to wind people up and have yet another go at the SNP. He was even boasting that; he wrote “Be a shame to let a good crisis go to waste”.

  5. Fuck me. National Grid can’t even supply today’s demand.

    http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/PrevailingView/Index

    08:02 Due to conditions on the network, the quantity of capacity being made available in the IPWDDSEC auction at location BI IP will be restricted until further notice
    07:35 National Grid is Scaling Back interruptible capacity at 0900 at BU and BI from 05/03/18. The ICF is 0
    07:34 National Grid is Scaling Back interruptible capacity at BI IP from 09.00 05/03/18. The ICF is 0.

  6. @Phil

    What I’m advocating is underground gasification with carbon capture which I see as essential for a sustainable future. My government is talking about abolishing petrol engined cars in the next 30 years at a time when we are struggling to provide enough energy for domestic and industrial needs. Plus we rely on hydrocarbons for much more than just energy, without them we can’t provide enough food to sustain the population.

    We’ve taken a few billion tons of oil and gas out of the North Sea, there are trillions of tons of coal out there and I’d rather we were directing our energies on working out how to get at the energy it contains than pissing into the wind with windmills.

  7. Fred, can carbon dioxide capture be safe, or will it create a time-bomb of carbon dioxide likely to escape later?

    They call it “carbon capture” but of course it isn’t. It takes energy to strip the oxygen off carbon dioxide.

    Phil, I should have said that your “leave it in the ground” argument has qualified validity; in a choice between burning gas or coal right now, leaving coal in the ground reduces emissions much more than leaving gas in the ground.

  8. “Coal 8.9GW”

    So they mine the lithium in Canada and send it on a ship to Europe to be made into batteries which are put on a ship to Japan to be built into cars which are put on a ship back to Britain to be bought by tree huggers who then run them on coal.

    And this is what they call a sustainable future?

  9. Fred, I think the policy of phasing out petrol cars makes sense. Cars can be run on batteries or compressed air etc. They’re essentially domestic scale technology, and it makes sense to conserve the liquid fuel they burn for more essential uses that don’t yet have a viable substitute; combine harvesters, tractors, aircraft, chainsaws etc.

  10. “And this is what they call a sustainable future?”

    No, it’s called following the dictates of The Market. As always. All those activities could be performed locally.

  11. @Clark

    Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, if we put it far under the ground where would it leak to?

  12. Coal has dropped back to about 9GW due to turbines running out of coal. A few gas stations have also had to scale back generating capacity again presumably because national grid can’t keep the pressure up in some parts of the pipeline system.

    There is very little wind (1.9GW metered right now) today,

  13. There continues to be no flow at all from Isle of Grain 1 and 2 LNG tanks or from Milford Haven Dragon. Only Milford Haven South Hook tank is flowing sparingly.

    Also there has been no flow from Hole House Farm Medium Range Storage site.

    Of course there has also been no flow from Short Range Storage as they are all empty,

    The broken Rough site is flowing at between 7 and 8 mcm. If they attempt to go any higher it seems to fall over.

  14. @Clark

    The gas we are taking from under the North Sea has been there millions of years without leaking out despite being lighter than rock.

  15. Fred, I don’t know how much of the cavity is still there. One of the Dutch gas fields which is sending us gas had to reduce the extraction rate because drawing gas too fast causes earthquakes, so presumably the ground settles. In Yorkshire where they extracted coal, the ground subsided above. Oil is often extracted by pumping in water to displace it.

    Can you pump CO2 into a live well while still extracting gas? Still, Rough used to work as a storage facility so presumably CO2 could be pumped into depleted fields. But did the original gas come out under pressure? If so, you’re going to have to pressurise the CO2 back into it with, presumably, a leakage risk.

    So I wonder just how much potentially safe CO2 storage volume there is. It may be much less than whatever was extracted.

  16. Squonk, I reckon 17:00 until 19:00 today could be tight. On electricity, it’s an odd time of day to be drawing from pumped storage. Demand is pretty high, with little relief from unmetered wind, and we don’t even start the climb to peak demand for some hours yet, while all the while whatever gas reserves we have must be dwindling, especially with gas generation at nearly 20GW.

  17. Even with 20-25GW of gas generation running we should in theory have enough from our limited storage in total because heating demand is way down.

    However as many of the injection sites into the network are completely off-line it is possible that pressure may drop too rapidly in a region if there are a lot of gas stations on a particular part of the network.

    As long as they can maintain pressure across the system they should be able to keep the gas stations running. There are just a handful of unplanned outages in gas stations right this moment although that includes one of the gas turbines at Isle of Grain interestingly enough.

  18. “Projections indicate that around 50% of voters opted for populist or right-wing parties. As ballots continued to be tallied on Monday, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) looked set to become the largest single party in parliament with about 32% of the vote, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry, although it will not have enough seats for an outright majority.”

    Trumpian fascism? Woot!

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/05/europe/italy-elections-intl/

  19. sorry for not coming back earlier, Squonk, I only ever meet this person at weekends if that, will try and find out more.

  20. Total of 3 LNG tankers heading for UK now.

    https://www.icis.com/resources/news/2018/03/05/10199500/lng-markets-analysis-high-uk-prices-bring-spot-cargoes/

    The 174,000 cubic metres (cbm) Maran Gas Ulysses, shown in a green box in the bottom left of the picture, has picked up a Russian Yamal LNG cargo in a ship-to-ship transfer at Montoir in France and is now indicated by port data to be heading to Dragon LNG in Wales for 7 March.

    The 148,000cbm Arctic Princess from Norway, shown in a blue box in the centre of the picture, has recently departed from Hammerfest LNG and is broadcasting a heading to the Isle of Grain for 8 March. Grain is in Kent, and boxed in red on the map.

    The 172,000cbm Eduard Toll, in a red box at the top right of the picture, has left Yamal LNG and is also heading to Grain, for 13 March.

    But the UK was perhaps fortunate that Russia’s Yamal LNG plant is still in its initial start-up phase, having begun production late last year.

    Its cargoes are not expected to be dedicated to long-term contract deliveries until April 2018, meaning that they are available for last-minute sales in the spot market. If it had not been for the recent Yamal LNG start-up, there might not have been immediate spot market cargoes available for UK traders to buy.

  21. Ben, there’s also hopeful news in your CNN link. Check the section “Stellar rise of M5S”; their opinions are under-represented in the “centre-Left consensus”. There are parallels with the Corbyn / Sanders phenomenon. And they got the most votes of any party!

  22. National Grid haven’t updated the storage and LNG figures for today. No explanation why but the data displayed on the site is still for yesterday.

  23. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-1505_en.htm

    Statement of Vice-President Šefčovič on Russian-Ukrainian natural gas situation in March 2018

    Brussels, 2 March 2018

    The Commission was informed by the Ukrainian authorities about their concern regarding a possible emergency situation in the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System (GTS).

    …- Increasing reverse flows from the EU at a short notice is challenging at the moment because of tight spot markets (low temperatures throughout EU) and difficulties to technically rearrange the flows within the Gas Transmission System.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-ukraine-germany/germany-calls-on-gazprom-ukraines-naftogaz-to-settle-dispute-idUSS8N1QC01L

    BERLIN, March 5 (Reuters) – Germany is concerned at reports that Russia’s Gazprom will cancel its gas supply contract with Ukraine’s Naftogaz, a government spokesman said on Monday, urging the companies to settle their dispute.

    Spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference that the two companies should comply with a Stockholm arbitration court’s award of more than $2.5 billion to Naftogaz, which prompted Gazprom to cut supplies to Ukraine.

    “It is in the interest of Germany and the European Union, and of Russia and Ukraine, that both these countries show themselves to be reliable partners in European gas supply and guarantee continuous supplies,” Seibert said.

  24. Strange the BBC (or virtually anyone else) still haven’t mentioned the Russians have cut flow through Ukraine. That’s usually headline news but I suppose the UK media don”t want anyone to know there’s a gas crisis.

  25. Re: Squonk, 5:39 pm: they really don’t make their graphs convenient to read; what sort of time interval between divisions do they call that? 18:12, 00:52, 07:32, 14:12…

    Applied Murphology, Klipstein’s 3rd law: – “Dimensions will always be expressed in the least usable terms. Velocity, for example, will be expressed in furlongs per fortnight”.

  26. Clark ,

    If you go to http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/InstantaneousView/Index
    You can click on “User defined download” that will give you a csv spreadsheet of the timestamped flow values.

    Btw, I see the coal stations have finally dropped back from back running pretty much flat out (sufficient coal allowing) for the last week. Presumably the assumption is that we have enough gas until the LNG tankers arrive unless the Langeled pipeline fails first and then we’re fucked in any case!

    The Langeled pipeline flows about the equivalent of almost one LNG tanker per day!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langeled_pipeline

  27. The French Electrical Interconnect is very strange. The France end still says it is sending 2GW but the UK end says only 1.5GW is coming out. and it has been like that for hours now. Are we boiling fish in the channel or something? Half a Gigawatt of electricity just can’t go missing!

    The status remains “Under investigation”

  28. The case surrounds the treatment of Nadia Naffe on Patterico’s blog on or about March 2012 when Frey started digging into Nadia Naffe and ginning up Frey’s supporters to attack her.

    Patrick Frey has long been accused of using his blog and his office as a way to build or maintain his credibility as an on and off hours journalist. Some people say that he is in fact using the power of his office to go after minorities, left wingers, and anyone else he doesn’t like. In other words, Frey, by the power of his office as an Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles, supposedly has credibility when it comes to investigating people or making them out to be guilty of various criminal acts or violations of law. As “the people” we depend on prosecutors to defend us when victimized by criminals. We do not however expect them to go out and run a mini-vigilante group of dedicated followers to go after people that a prosecutor doesn’t happen to like or agree with. In the case of Frey, he seems to use his power and his blog to go after anyone that steps up against him. We here at BU were recently accused by Frey of being suspects under some sort of investigation after we were tweeting about him. He doesn’t say what investigation, he just puts that out there and people tend to believe him since he is a prosecutor. This gives him leeway in being able to lie to people or obfuscate the truth when it suits him and few would question it. Not long ago BU was tweeting about another issue and Frey interjected himself into the tweet telling those we were tweeting to that we were suspects:

    http://www.breitbartunmasked.com/2012/05/16/la-county-john-patterico-frey-fire-violation-civil-rights/

  29. This is a strange one
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43295134

    Critically ill man is former Russian spy

    A man who is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in Wiltshire is a Russian national convicted of spying for Britain, the BBC understands.

    Sergei Skripal, 66, was granted refuge in the UK following a “spy swap” between the US and Russia in 2010.

    He and a woman, 33, were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury on Sunday.

    Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury has been closed by police “as a precaution”.

    The substance has not been identified.

  30. Thanks Ben for the additional info 🙂

    I’m sort of addicted to watching flow gauges and probably will be until I see storage start going up again.

  31. You’re really locked on the gas. Is it a crisis in waiting? Sorry I’ve been unattentive.

  32. “I can’t find Gudbouli or the quote via search. Either s/he is rarely obscure or a figment of your imagination? Impressive.”

    He’s a Brahmin fictional character from David Leans ‘Passage to India’ Phil.

  33. Ben,

    We’ve only just managed to keep the lights on. If it hadn’t got slightly milder there would have been rotating power blackouts across the UK by now. They kept closing things for cost-cutting reasons until disaster almost struck.

    Assuming no major import pipeline fails in the next few days before LNG tankers start arriving we should just make it through. However the dire state of our storage means that until we can refill it is not possible to compensate for any major supply loss so the lights still could go out. It is fingers crossed time and hope that nothing breaks in the next few days because our storage is almost down to fumes and cannot make up any significant loss.

    Also Russia has cut off gas flow to Europe via Ukraine again which is causing issues for European gas supply.

  34. Ben

    It is due to 100% government incompetence. They believed their own propaganda about price mechanisms solving any problem and over-ruled their own experts.

    It is also because our main natural gas storage site has been so badly managed and run over the last few years that the wells are now unsafe so it had to go offline. But the government was happy with that as well even if their experts weren’t.

    Russia is saving our arse right now as two tankers of Russian Liquified Natural Gas are heading to the UK and a smaller Norwegian tanker as well.

    If our Natural gas grid can’t keep up with demand then the gas fired electricty power stations have to start shutting down. That actually happened last week but our last remaining coal stations ran flat out for a week to keep the lights on.

  35. Russia saving your arse doesn’t sound encouraging. I will suplicate the Lord until he answers…seriously I know this is concerning and the flu season is peaking. Use my formula..3 days of incubation 3 days of misery 3 days recovery. Double after age 60.

    I just recovered after 20 days..

  36. Ben

    I’ve managed to escape the flu this season although there has been a lot in the UK. Last time I caught the flu it also took me weeks to fully recover. Glad you’re feeling better 🙂

  37. My own nonscientific, anecdotal study of one indicates that if cannabis can depress an overactive immune system eating your own organs then it probably depresses normal immune function. It’s not a panacea, but nearly so. 🙂

  38. A sign grid management is starting to breathe again?

    http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/PrevailingView

    00:45 National Grid has restored interruptible capacity at BI and BU for Gas Day 05/03/2018 effective from 02:00hrs. The ICF is 1

    On the other hand some key information on the grid website is still updating very late. Storage levels , LNG levels and Forecast flow for example.

  39. Squonk
    “It is due to 100% government incompetence.”

    Surely the profit motive as well.

    Having just gotten through the worst weather in years without actually running out, from the perspective of the profiteers the system works very well. I presume there is a section of capitalists who have been in a panic but don’t expect them to prevail. I bet little changes.

  40. Ben

    As you mention it, and if you don’t mind saying, what do you self medicate for?

  41. Phil,

    “without running out”

    We haven’t got to the end of heating season yet!

    Plus we did run out of capacity of course as industry and power stations were cut off. Just the lights didn’t go off (so far) thanks to old king coal.

  42. They don’t give us a list and it is up to the effected companies to say but some INEOS operations seemed to be among them.

    INEOS did make a public statement that supplies were on a “knife-edge” though.

    National Grid finally resumed normal service to all customers only this morning,

  43. Squonk
    “some INEOS operations ”

    Sorry, what is that?

    Specifically, I am wondering if any industries outside of the energy sector had their energy supply actually cut off.

  44. Those cut off would be very large gas users who get their supply cheap but on the condition that they agree they will be the first to get cut off if there wasn’t sufficient supply. But this time even that wasn’t enough and multiple gas fired power stations suddenly went into “unplanned unavailability” on Thursday morning.

  45. INEOS the petrochemical giant who own all the former national assets BP flogged them.

    There is no way to find out who got cut off from public information. Back about 2010 there was a big fuss during a supply crisis when they cut off some hospitals because they were mistakenly on the wrong contract. Most companies do not reveal their status and unless they cock up and cut off the hospital next to the interrupted factory by mistake we don’t find out!

  46. Squonk

    Ta. I guess if giant petrochemical corporations are getting cut off there will be some real lobbying going on for the government to regulate the energy reserves.

  47. Phil: it’s not for everyone for the simple reason it’s a cottage industry and consistent dosage from wildly crossed strains is hard unless controlled in a lab. Dispensaries have edibles that carry little risk because the Thc Delta is usually about 50 milligrams but it’s expensive.

    Good for chronic pain (for me..knees…sciatica..and C5 &6)

    Sleep like a baby

    Reduces chronic inflammation (again..you need some inflammation) the source, I believe, for most debilitating illness.

    Reduces anxiety (again, can increase anxiety with smoking because the advent of effects can be rapid)

    There’s more of course..

  48. Here comes the gas!

    The Maran Gas Ulysses LNG tanker carrying Russian LNG has arrived at the empty Milford Haven Dragon terminal.

    https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9709491

    Gas flows into the transmission network from the Dragon terminal have just restarted,

    Now if we can just get about 10 of those in before the next cold snap catches us out again before the end of March,

  49. Frey left out o’plenty. Sure, he phrased the “death threat” as being musing, but he also said in no uncertain terms he would’ve reported the email if it had been his name. Nowhere in his “report” did he mention how I have been getting viciously cybersmeared and cyberstalked by Neal Rauhauser. There is now 100% proof Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin are associates. One can read court documents showing Kimberlin allegations of a Team Breitbart out to get him. I think the names mentioned were myself, Aaron Walker, Mandy Nagy, Patrick Frey, and Andrew Breitbart; that we have been involved in a criminal conspiracy to ruin him or worse”

    http://davefromqueens2.blogspot.com/2012/06/patrick-frey-has-it-wrong-proof-of.html?m=1

  50. Phil,

    Ineos have been going on about our lack of gas problem for years. They already run their own LNG tanker to supply the plant at Grangemouth because of lack of availability of sufficient UK transmission network supplies. They claim the plant would have been forced to close by now without their own LNG cargoes.

    You won’t like this but they are currently taking legal action against the Scottish government against the ban on fracking and fund some of the fracking tests in England.

    If that wasn’t enough they have just started legal action against the National Trust in England and Wales for not allowing fracking on their land.

    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/uk_national_news/16041924.Ineos_given_permission_to_take_High_Court_action_for_fracking_survey/

    A bid by energy giant Ineos to carry out a fracking survey on National Trust land is to be heard in court.

    The company has been granted permission to pursue its application to undertake a geophysical survey in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, to the High Court.

    Lynn Calder, commercial director of Ineos Shale, said: “Legal action has been the last resort and we have used powers which prevent landowners from blocking projects which benefit the wider community and the nation as a whole.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16045078.Judge_rules_Ineos_can_sue_Scottish_Government_over_fracking_ban/

    FOSSIL fuel giant Ineos has won the right to a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s decisions that have effectively banned fracking.

    The company which runs the Grangemouth oil refinery has also won the chance to sue the Government for damages for a breach of its human rights.

    Ineos Upstream and Reach Coal Seam Gas went to court to challenge the Government’s decisions taken in 2015 and 2017 to have a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas which includes fracking, and to make that moratorium permanent.

    In a judgement issued by Lord Pentland at the Court of Session, the two companies were granted a judicial review to take place in May and which will consider a claim for damages under Human Rights laws.

    A bit before Christmas Ineos bought the Forties north sea pipeline system from BP which almost immediately then broke at Aberdeen causing a mini gas crisis. They got it fixed quicker than initial estimates and Theresa May said in parliament that the Russian LNG gas we’d taken emergency delivery of (which the USA has sanctions against) would now immediately be sold on to Europe and not used domestically. These two events contributed to the crisis when the cold snap arrived.

    Despite turning it away the last time we’ve now ordered another two. Lucky for us the French had just taken delivery from Russia of a cargo and were able to send it across the channel in another tanker which has just arrived.

  51. Good backup. Have you looked at kerosene heaters for small spaces? I have a forced- air heater that uses propane but you can watch the dial go down.

  52. Domestic grade Kerosene isn’t cheap here Ben, last I bought was going on £10 a gallon. I can get cheap grade for around a quarter of that but it smokes and smells bad.

  53. Squonk

    So INEOS are far from detached from the energy market themselves.

    It would be interesting to know who outside of the energy sector is actually suffering from the current system and why they are not screaming about it. I guess it might be local manufacturing who simply have no clout compared to the international energy sector.

  54. Ben

    Marijuana is illegal here but it is very rare for prosecutions of those clearly self medicating. Or anyone else these days tbf.

    As a gobshite and sufferer I used to be much involved in promoting the use of psychedelics to treat cluster headaches. The efficacious effect was originally discovered by a Scotsman funny enough, who was a mystical legend to many of us. We walked tightropes around the law, doctors and charities. Now it is researched by major universities. The fella behind clusterbusters is a star.

    https://clusterbusters.org/

  55. Fuck, it’s been a long time. Just reading the clusterbusters site, the history, the pain, bought it all back and tears to my eyes. Thank the god I don’t believe in that I get only rare and very light attacks these days. I recall the posts of the poor bastards in countries, mostly the US, with no free health system.

  56. Phil,

    Usually you can find some reports in local newspapers of this or that factory that sent people home for the day because of a lack of gas but with the weather dominating everything that news probably got squeezed out this time (or put on the “We don’t need to report that now” spike. Don’t mention the gas!)

    It definitely got quite widespread coverage in about 2010. In fact here’s a report from 2010 showing you the sort of customers who get cut off.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/jan/07/gas-rationing-national-grid-factories

    Vauxhall’s car plant at Ellesmere Port on Merseyside and British Sugar’s refineries at Bury St Edmunds and Newark are among nearly 100 factories that have had their gas cut as Britain’s energy infrastructure creaks under the strain of the great freeze.

    The National Grid has told British Gas and other power firms to cut the supply to major corporate customers, in an attempt to preserve gas supply for households as the weather causes a surge in demand.

    …Well-known manufacturers at locations around the country, including the south and east of England, confirmed they were experiencing power supply problems but most asked for their names to be kept private to avoid panicking shareholders. Vauxhall and British Sugar both confirmed gas had been cut off but said production was being kept up by use of stand-by generators fired by oil.

  57. In 2013 during the last supply crisis the Rough Long Range Storage field was drawn down way below zero as they pumped out cushion gas to keep the lights on. Some claimed at the time that added extra wear and tear on the system.

    The way that asset was treated and the fact that older wells were not replaced on a rolling basis meant that the system started to have more failures and on recent inspection was found to be unsafe and at risk of blowouts. The entire system is now a disaster waiting to happen according to the safety reports. Many of the compressors had been upgraded though and the newer ones pressurised the wells beyond their original design safety limit further damaging the wells.

    Despite being unsafe they’ve been doing everything to squeeze anything they can out of it the last few days,

  58. “but most asked for their names to be kept private to avoid panicking shareholders”

    OK. So that’s why they’re not screaming.

    And yes, I think I heard on late night LBC phone in about a chocolate factory closing this time. Not sure, half asleep.

  59. Phil, it may be worth a search to see if Clive Moffatt’s group have anything to say about interruption of gas supplies:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/01/uk-is-running-out-of-gas-national-grid-warns-freezing-weather

    ‘…The government is due to meet an alliance of energy intensive industry groups and trade unions after they wrote to the business secretary, Greg Clark, last November demanding an inquiry on gas storage and supply.

    – “We’ve had the Forties [pipeline] disruption [in December], other events in January and February. We envisage the frequency of these will increase, and this will have impact on gas prices. This requires an inquiry,” said Clive Moffatt, speaking for the group, whose members include ceramics and paper firms.’

  60. That’s the astonishing thing to me. Every few years our gas supplies are tested to the limit or beyond but we still keep shutting things down. There have been times in the past where we only just made it when Rough was still available. This time Our LNG terminals were just hours from failing even with import pipelines running flat out. 3 out of 4 terminals were already effectively empty.

    If that happened and it stayed cold for a week there really was no option other than rotating power-cuts for days until multiple LNG tankers arrived. The LNG terminals were flowing more than one entire tankers worth a day at times so we’d need a lot of tankers…

    And all this on a gas demand of only 420 million cubic metres a day. They are supposed to be able to supply over 500 for a “one in 20 year event”. If they were faced with demand of 500 today they’d have to electrically power down virtually the entire country at peak time to prevent actual gas grid pressure collapse which would mean months to get the gas back on nationwide so cannot be allowed to happen.

    So if I was the government right now I’d be asking National Grid to explain in advance how they will maintain 500mcm for days or weeks the next time that is required. Because it will be again sometime and that could be as soon as next winter. The answer is that they can’t do it.

    One of my worst fears is that we get 1947 or 1962/63 repeat because then we will have rolling blackouts and limited heating for months with absolutely nothing they can do about it other than wait for end of winter.

    That’s the simple fact of our gas supply and dependent electricity network. It is not fit for purpose – not anywhere near it – and that will be shown when not if the next months long easterly arrives.

  61. Squonk
    “You won’t like this but they [frack]”

    On this. Sure I guess I don’t “like” it but then, meh, I realise they have no choice. The system demands capitalists maximise profits. Otherwise they go out of business.

    I despair at thinking individuals, with everything to lose, who accept a human made system as something natural and inevitable (“capitalist realism”). Those who believe that there is a choice for the capitalists. That all we need is some nice capitalists, or some meaningful regulation, and everything will be hunky dory. Those who spend a lifetime arguing on the enemies terms, driven to endless distraction, but can’t even be arsed to try to understand, mostly because of propaganda which ironically posseses them, the political economy. Free your mind comrades! Read Marx!*

    *But for gawds sake don’t become a marxist.

  62. Squonk
    “That’s the astonishing thing to me. Every few years our gas supplies are tested to the limit or beyond but we still keep shutting things down.”

    Profit, profit, profit, profit, profit, profit, profit. They literally can’t help themselves, let alone us.

  63. Marx. More scientific than Jesus.

    Am I sounding too evangelical? It’s the six o’clock can of lager. Unusually stressful day at work. Gonna snooze on the sofa now and post no more tonight.

  64. I think our gas storage figures must be top secret now as the National Grid gas website hasn’t updated the current storage and LNG levels for the last 2 days. Presumably that will resume now the tankers are arriving!

    By an astonishing coincidence the European weekly gas storage figures haven’t updated either for about 2 weeks in any source I can find.

  65. Phil

    We could have a long discussion about Psychedelics and the missed opportunity with psychology/psychiatry.

  66. Fred: not as expensive here but it’s very efficient using about 1 gallon per 12 hours and in emergencies that’s not bad.

  67. Phil, March 6, 7:59 pm: so what should be done about the profit motive?

    The conventional argument is that a market will automatically regulate profit, so long as there are enough companies competing to offer a given product or service. That seems valid to me, so far as it goes.

  68. “This is a strange one”

    very much though Squonk and it stinks to high heaven,imho.

    After Gavin W.’s fiery talking in Washington last week, vouching for us to join the war with Russia, China and North Korea, wanting to divert monies from healthcare, NHS and care provisions in general to build up the military assets and wage bill in the UK, and after Putin’s nuclear missile wand was waved about like a stick some days back, we now have a new calamity which is straight away being sold as very likely to be Russian aggression.

    How come?

    Oddly our right wing MP’s incl. the foreign secretary were hammering out hardly disguised accusatory comments whilst the police was still gathering facts investigating. Question is, what did they know beforehand? was this attack know to happen?

    In whose interest is it, at this point of abject failure for our ‘moderate’ terrorists in Syria, to provide us with a stick/ propaganda to beat Russia with?

    Whoever attacked Scripal knew that the Russians would not cry much for him, that we would blow this up into a massive story, again.

  69. Hmmm..well said Nevermind

    I think, the Big worry is the Media…( western ) BBC ect Propaganda war crimes… It’s a war crime to threaten Geoncide in the Koreas.. .These Fucking NkutJobs ..Are we to belive the Mi 5 or mi6 ..Don’t Know what a war with Iran, would result in… The Passing Astreroid May as well frigging Strike

  70. Another day and still our gas storage and LNG levels are blacked out on the national grid site – first they didn’t update for two days and then they just blanked out.

    The reason they are forced to publish all the data is to prove that private enterprise alone could be trusted to safely run our energy networks and we could always check that.

    By halting the daily updates they have ironically proved exactly the opposite as we sleep walk to national disaster some year soon.

    Even in previous gas shortages in 2010 and 2013 they never once blacked out the daily figures.

    I really don’t think it a stretch to imagine that some future winter the public (those who haven’t yet frozen to death) will by the end of it want most of our current politicians and energy bosses and traders locked up for life for treason. That’s if they don’t demand a referendum to bring back hanging first.

  71. By the way we of course easily have the technology and the money to build all the storage and LNG sites we need to get through the next real bad winter.

    Strangely enough I don’t hear politicians demanding that we should only build aircraft carriers and ballistic nuclear submarines with all the costs paid for by private companies and not a penny of government subsidy.

    Yet for one of the most basic critical national security issues there is – that of keeping the gas and therefore electricity on over winter – they insist no public money will be spent. Are they actually insane? The rest of Europe thinks so.

    For a fraction of the cost of our nuclear subs and aircraft carriers we really can fix this “clear and present danger” although it will take time.

  72. Would the last person to leave Britain please remember to set the light switches to the up position? This should be possible, even in the dark.

  73. …and please remember to turn the gas off, for the unlikely possibility that supply may be restored while you’re away.

  74. ‘The government has assured the public that gas shortages pose no threat to national security. A spokesman for 10 Downing Street told our Security correspondent, “all our submarines are nuclear powered, our aircraft carriers are not connected to the gas supply, and our security services have very effective methods of detecting Russians, even in the dark”‘.

  75. The “turn off the gas” one doesn’t matter Clark as they can’t restore supply to an area without first entering every home and factory, physically sealing the gas supply shut and only when that has been done for every consumer they then restore pressure to the gas main and finally revisit every home and unseal the gas shutoff valve. If you are away when they call they will just smash their way in as there is no other option.

    Once we all have smart gas meters forced upon us though they can turn us off remotely which appears to be the plan as it is cheaper than actually keeping the gas on.

  76. At least if we’re attacked by NATO they won’t need to bomb the infrastructure – a big plus, since it could be difficult to find any…

    It pays to think ahead about such details, in case Jeremy Corbyn gets elected.

  77. Heck they can offer us attractively priced supply tariffs with it in the very small print on page 42 that we agree to be disconnected in an emergency.

    Then when they need to save 50% of demand one day they can claim our energy structure is perfectly fine and the reason you don’t see any lights on in satellite photos of the UK is that we’ve all voluntarily disconnected to do our bit for Queen and country.

  78. Small print? On-line, surely, on a site which Google says hosts malware, and a security certificate that’s a year out of date… That’s if the electricity is on while you’re not at work, of course.

  79. I think I see the plan now. They’ve worked out that Corbyn will nationalise national infrastructure, so they’re making damn sure that there’s none left by the time he gets elected.

  80. ANS Messages
    7th January 2019 – 03:27 GMT
    National Grid is scaling back capacity at locations YOURHOME . The ICF is zero – just like our storage. Have a nice day!

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