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: Small suppliers make up a quarter of the UK energy market October 15, 2018 SSE-Npower merger gets watchdog clearance October 10, 2018 SSE profits drop 50% September 12, 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.