Cost of Energy, Natural Gas, Oil UK fuel deficit increases to £5.4bn following Forties leak Written by The Energy Advocate on March 16, 2018 More in Cost of Energy: Energy cap likely to be in place by winter July 20, 2018 SSE lose £80m in profits because of good weather July 19, 2018 EDF announce second energy bill increase July 6, 2018 The UK’s fuel trade deficit increased dramatically in the three months up to January, when a major pipeline system was shut down in order to undergo emergency repairs. The fuel deficit expanded from £3.1 billion to £5.4 billion in the last quarter of 2017, according to data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data showed that there was a 21.4% increase in fuel imports, while exports declines by 8.3% in the same amount of time. The ONS said: “While we have no direct evidence, the trade deficit in fuels coincides with weakness in the oil and gas extraction sub-industry during December 2017; which was due to the shut-down of the Forties oil pipeline for a large part of this month”. The Forties Pipeline System (FPS) provides almost 40% of UK North Sea oil and gas production and it was announced in December that it would close for several weeks to make repairs following a leak. Meanwhile, during the three months, imports of oil swelled by 17% while exports dropped 5.8%, according to the statistics.