The Trade Statistics Unit (TSu) has adopted a new methodology for the collection and calculation of trade data for natural gas in a gaseous state (Commodity Code 2711 2100) [as of 1st June 2015].
This is specifically only for import trade with non-EU partner countries, where the transport mechanism is via pipeline. TSu now use the data made available to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) directly from gas pipeline operators. This is in place of Customs declarations. The DECC data is preferable to Customs declarations as it is, in effect, based on a census in that all gas pipelines from Norway are included in its compilation.
(NB. Norway is currently the only non-EU country from which the UK imports natural gas in a gaseous state via pipeline)
Additional benefits of this data are that:
- It is quality assured by DECC through comparison with data published by the National Grid.
- It has shown to compare well with the mirror data published by Statistics Norway.
- It is published by DECC as part of publications given ‘National Statistic’ status by the UK Statistics Authority.
Changing to this methodology means the UK will now align itself with the ‘best practice’ data collection method for gas, as recently set out by the EU Commission for Statistics - Eurostat. It also harmonises with the methodology already employed by the Trade Statistics unit for pipeline gas traded with EU member States.
In summary, this methodology change will act to improve the accuracy and comparability of gas imports data, both within the UK and internationally