The Ofgem chairman Sir John Mogg told the Financial Times newspaper that new gas supply and storage infrastructure would come on-stream on schedule, thereby alleviating the risk of a repeat of last year’s supply crisis.

Mr Mogg also told the paper that he thought a repeat of an event such as the Russia-Ukraine gas supply dispute was much less likely in 2006-7.

The UK gas market is set to benefit from the opening of two new pipelines, one from the Netherlands and one from Norway, which will be operational by the start of 2007.

The newspaper also said that Ofgem will be scrutinizing the gas suppliers carefully to ensure that any decrease in the wholesale cost of gas is clearly passed on to consumers. This follows the series of price hikes imposed by most of the major gas retailers in 2006, with firms such as Powergen and British Gas putting prices up on two separate occasions this year already.