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Operating Margins (OM)

Operating Margins (OM) relate to how we use gas to manage short-term impacts of operational stresses (e.g. supply loss) where the market response is not sufficient, or during a gas system emergency.  On this page you will find out how we manage OM and how to contact us to become an OM provider.

National Grid Gas purchases OM annually, in line with both the requirements of TPD Section K of the UNC and obligations described in the National Grid Gas Safety Case in respect of the National Transmission System. The Safety Case places an obligation on us to maintain OM at levels and locations determined throughout the year.

The OM service is used to maintain system pressures in the period before other system management services become effective (e.g. national or locational balancing actions). Primarily, OM will be used in the immediate period following the occurrence of any of the following, if all other system operator actions are insufficient:

  • supply loss: terminal, sub-terminal, interconnector, LNG importation terminal;

  • pipe break (including loss of infrastructure that renders pipe unusable)

  • compressor failure; or

  • demand forecast error.

A further quantity of OM is also procured to manage the orderly run-down of the system in the event of a network gas supply emergency (NGSE) while firm load shedding takes place.

OM provision

OM gas can be provided by a number of operators under current arrangements:

  • storage facility operators;

  • primary capacity holders at storage facilities;

  • LNG importation (with storage) facility operators;

  • primary capacity holders at LNG importation facilities with storage;

  • offers for a guaranteed level of supply increase or offtake reduction (or combination thereof) from a shipper's portfolio; and

  • offers for a site to be available for supply increase or offtake reduction as part of a portfolio managed by National Grid Gas.

OM documents