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Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Press Release July 19th 2022: 

Growing fears that Ireland will be told to artificially manufacture an economic crisis by the European Commission through premature rationing of gas.

·         Ireland only imports gas from non-EU third countries Norway and the UK; Ireland does not export gas to any EU Member State; currently there is no rationing of gas in the UK with which Ireland constitutes a single gas market; current glut in gas in the UK sees UK interconnectors to Belgium and the Netherlands operating at full capacity.`


·         After all the fearmongering that the British could cut off gas supply to Ireland, we are now in the more realistic scenario where it is actually the European Commission that will be asking Ireland to reduce its use of the Irish interconnectors from Scotland.

Fears are growing that an economic crisis will be artifically manufactured in Ireland under the orders of the European Commission following media reports from the Irish Business Post that the EU is "to order members to cut gas use". Ireland, the newspaper claims, will be asked to comply with the plan and also ration its gas later this week. The rationing would take place in spite of the fact that Ireland does not deliver or receive gas directly from any other EU Member State. All the gas imported into Ireland comes from the UK and Norway - both non-EU countries.

Under the Article 13 Solidarity rules of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation (EU) 2017/1938

"A Member State shall also provide the solidarity measure to another Member State to which it is connected via a third country unless flows are restricted through the third country. Such an extension of the measure shall be subject to the agreement of the relevant Member States, who shall involve, as appropriate, the third country through which they are connected."

However, Ireland is not directly connected to any EU Member State because of Brexit and cannot offer any solidarity because gas flows from the UK to Ireland are uni-directional and there is no reverse flow in place.

Article 13 of the EU Security of Supply Regulation requires that before a solidarity measure is implemented Ireland must formally agree, must involve the UK third country in any solidarity measure, must only take the measure as a last resort, must implement the measure on a voluntary basis as a first step and the measure is subjected to the "maximum interconnection export capability of the relevant Member State infrastructure towards the requesting Member State". Given that the UK is currently pumping gas to Belgium and the Netherlands at full capacity due to a glut of gas in the UK at the moment (with the spot price of gas in the UK still lower than when the war in Ukraine escalated in February), the Irish government would be doing serious economic damage to the country without solving any of the issues the rationing of gas in Ireland would claim to solve. That would amount to artificially manufacturing economic problems in Ireland under the orders of the European Commission.


Since January 2021, the UK is no longer required to provide gas supply solidarity to the EU. In June, it was reported by the Financial Times that the UK will cut off supplies to Belgium and the Netherlands if necessary.  The Irish Times then reported that Irish consumers would be treated the same as those in the British market in the event of any gas shortages, according to the company operating the UK National Grid.

Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Brian Mullins, stated on July 15th

“As we move further into the summer, we do not envisage any disruption to gas supply in the immediate future and we continue to monitor the evolving situation in terms of Russian gas supplies to Europe. Ireland’s gas requirements continue to be met by indigenous supply from the Corrib gas field and via the interconnection with the UK, which is largely sourced from UK indigenous sources and Norway.”

The Irish and UK gas networks are so heavily intertwined that they are considered to be the one gas market, allowing Ireland to benefit from all the UK gas storage, diversity and security of supply. The Scotland-Northern Ireland Pipeline (SNIP) branches off from the Irish-owned Interconnector 1 from Moffat at Twynholm. Further gas supply to Northern Ireland passes from the uni-directional south-north interconnector from Interconnector 2 arriving at Gormanstown in County Meath. The Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea, is supplied by gas from the Irish-owned Interconnector 2. It is clear that if the UK stopped gas flowing through the interconnectors to Ireland then this would have an immediate destabilising impact in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. On July 3rd, however, in what was seen as an attempt to muddy the waters, it was unrealistically claimed in the Irish Business Post newspaper that it could be technically possible for the UK to cut off gas supply to Ireland while continuing to supply Northern Ireland. No explanation was given as to how this could happen, under what conditions and how it could be done without breaching existing bilateral agreements between the UK and Ireland


It is ironic that while some quarters have been hyping up the fear that the British could cut off gas supply to Ireland, we are now in the more realistic scenario that it is actually the European Commission that will be asking Ireland to reduce its use of the Irish interconnectors from Scotland.

If gas is rationed in Ireland unnecessarily it will cause inflation in the price of raw materials for food production and a reduction in agricultural output at a time of a growing world food crisis.

If the European Commission wants to have more access to US fracked gas, then that is all the more reason for Ireland to refuse to build US fracked gas terminals which would be in competition with other LNG terminals in other EU Member States.