Tuesday, 19 February- Piracy and terrorism could pose
serious threats to the UK’s energy supply, according to documents released
today by Greenpeace. (1)
The Freedom of Information (FoI) documents detail discussions and meetings
between the UK Government and officials from Qatar, from where the UK sourced
30% of its LNG last year. They suggest a genuine risk of attacks on both LNG
shipments and key energy infrastructure in Qatar, including gas terminals in
Qatar during the 2022 World Cup.
This comes as Ofgem warns consumers will pay a high price for the UK’s
increasing reliance on imported gas (3).
“Soaring gas prices, families struggling with bills, and now very serious
concerns about threats to supply – what more will it take for Chancellor George
Osborne to admit defeat over his dash for gas?” said Greenpeace Energy
Campaigner Leila Deen.
“To increase UK reliance on gas is clearly folly, yet this is exactly
what Osborne’s gas strategy proposes.”
Qatari LNG destined for the UK sails past Oman and Yemen and then through
the Strait of Hormuz. Piracy incidents in the Strait have fallen in the past
year, but energy experts remain concerned that terrorists in the region may
target energy infrastructure. In one of the FoI documents, heavy weapons ,
barbed wire and citadels are proposed for protection on ships.
The impact of an attack on an LNG tanker isn't known, but some experts
suggest a successful attack on a LNG shipment could lead to a catastrophic
explosion (4). According to reports from Reuters, an attack last summer - which
involved the use of rocket-propelled grenades – failed.(5)
“We have a clear choice when it comes to the future of UK energy,” said
Leila Deen. “We either move towards a safe, carbon free electricity system that
will bring jobs and green growth to the UK, or we up our dependence on
volatile, polluting, expensive gas.”
The Chancellor’s own father-in-law was caught on film last year admitting
that the UK’s increased dependence on Qatar for gas could leave us “up shit
military leaders have also questioned it in the past, warning that almost half
the UK’s gas imports would be halted if, as it has threatened, Iran blocked the
Strait of Hormuz.
West, former head of the Royal Navy, has argued that if the strait were
blockaded, the sharp fall in the UK’s gas supplies would be the country’s
single most critical issue. (7)
For more information please contact Kathy Cumming on
“William Hague’s energy adviser has risked a diplomatic incident with
Qatar – Britain’s biggest supplier of natural gas – by warning about the
grave consequences of a potential terror attack on the Gulf state.”