LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will have enough gas supply to meet demand from April to September, and will even ship more gas to Europe due to low storage levels there, National Grid said in its annual summer outlook on Thursday.
Total UK gas demand is forecast at 34 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the six months over the summer versus 31.9 bcm in the same period of last year. Supply, chiefly from the North Sea and Norway, is forecast at 34 bcm compared to 31.5 bcm last year.
Britain only gets around 3% of its gas from Russia, while the European Union relies on Russia for around 40% of its needs. Several European countries have said they are reducing reliance on Russian gas in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
Last month, a Russian decree ordered foreign buyers to pay for gas shipments in roubles instead of euros from April 1 or face going without Russian supplies. Most European buyers have refused to do so, prompting concerns about supply.
"This uncertainty, coupled with high gas prices and low EU storage, means that higher volumes of gas from alternative sources may be required to refill EU storage to minimum levels in preparation for winter 2022/23," National Grid said.
Britain can export gas to Europe via interconnectors, and National Grid expects UK average exports to Europe at 5.4 bcm, up from 0.7 bcm last summer period.
European storage levels ended the winter season at the end of March at 26.5 bcm, below the five-year average.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will become more important than ever this summer, the grid operator said. It expects LNG supply to average 6.4 bcm this summer, compared to 5.1 bcm last summer.
In a separate outlook by National Grid's Electricity System Operator (ESO), peak electricity demand this summer is expected to be 32.8 gigawatts (GW), slightly higher than last summer's 32.5 GW. This compares to around 50 GW in winter months.
Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Toby Chopra and Jan Harvey