The UK Prime Minister has said gas supplies will get better as the "market starts to sort itself out".

OGUK, representing the offshore oil and gas industry, reported wholesale prices for gas have surged 250 per cent since January, with a 70 per cent rise since August alone.

The rise in gas prices has been blamed on a number of factors, including a cold winter that left stocks depleted, high demand for liquefied natural gas from Asia and a reduction in supplies from Russia.

Boris Johnson said his government will have to do "everything we can" to prevent energy companies from going under amid a wholesale gas prices surge.

Speaking to broadcasters on the tarmac of New York’s JFK airport, Mr Johnson said: “I think people should be reassured in the sense that yes there are a lot of short-term problems not just in our country, the UK, but around the world caused by gas supplies and shortages of all kinds.

“This is really a function of the world economy waking up after Covid.

"It’s like everybody going back to put the kettle on at the end of a TV programme, you’re seeing huge stresses on the world supply systems.

“We’ve got to try and fix it as fast as we can, make sure we have the supplies we want, make sure we don’t allow the companies we rely on to go under. We’ll have to do everything we can.

“But this will get better as the market starts to sort itself out, as the world economy gets back on its feet."

The UK's business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is due to hold a fresh round of crisis talks with the energy industry.

Following a meeting on Sunday with the regulator Ofgem, Mr Kwarteng said “well-rehearsed plans” were in place to ensure consumers were not cut off in the event of further failures.

However, he is expected on Monday to come under pressure from the big suppliers for a major Government support package to help them through the crisis.

The Financial Times reported the industry wants the creation of a so-called 'bad bank' to absorb unprofitable customers from firms that fail.

Following a weekend locked in emergency talks, Mr Kwarteng acknowledged it was a “worrying time” for customers, but said he was confident supplies could be maintained, adding that consumers would be protected from sudden price hikes through the government’s energy price cap.

However, that puts pressure on the suppliers, particularly smaller companies, who are unable to pass on the increases in wholesale gas prices to their customers.

Four firms have already folded and there are fears that more could follow.

Some analysts have reportedly predicted that the UK’s energy companies could be reduced to three-quarters over the coming months leaving as few as 10.

After meeting Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley on Sunday, Mr Kwarteng said: “Our priority is to protect consumers.

"If a supplier of last resort is not possible, a special administrator would be appointed by Ofgem and the Government.

"The objective is to continue supply to customers until the company can be rescued or customers moved to new suppliers."

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