LONDON Oct 5 Britain's grid operator said the
lights would stay on in the UK in the event of the closure of
the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping route for liquefied natural
gas (LNG) from the largest exporter Qatar which supplies nearly
all of Britain's LNG.
Iranian politicians and officials have often said Iran could
block the strait - the neck of the Gulf through which 40 percent
of the world's seaborne oil exports passes - in response to
sanctions or military action by the United States and its allies
intended to stop Tehran developing a nuclear programme.
Even if a closure of the Middle Eastern shipping path
occurred, Britain would be able to assure security of energy
supply and keep the lights on, National Grid's market
operation director, Chris Train, said at a conference on Friday.
"Clearly we talk to the security services around the
likelihood of a threat and look at scenarios if it closed,"
He added that Britain's current electricity market was
favouring coal over gas burn, meaning a drop in LNG supply would
not threaten power production.
Britain, Europe's largest gas consumer, has increased its
reliance on gas imports in recent years as domestic production
declines and demand continues to rise.
Middle Eastern producer Qatar has played a growing role in
supplying Britain with gas as more import terminals have opened.
All LNG shipments from Qatar, the world's biggest LNG
exporter, sail through the Strait of Hormuz.