The UK currently has only 14 days’ worth of gas storage capacity, compared to 69 days in Germany and 87 in France.

The shock figure was released today in a report from the government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee, which called for an urgent increase in gas supply and storage.

Committee chairman Tim Yeo said the UK needed to “think hard about its energy security”.

“The UK will become more dependent on energy imports as North Sea oil and gas declines, but prudent planning can ensure this doesn’t reduce our energy security too drastically,” he said.

In its report, the committee states that the government is putting too greater emphasis on electricity storage – via its Electricity Market Reform white paper – at the expense of the country’s gas reserves. It calls on Whitehall to “explain and justify” this.