Shortages in the wake of Hurricane Harvey have resulted in a sharp rise in the price of gas in Northern Ireland, experts have warned.
The storm has been causing havoc in the US - meanwhile wholesale gas prices were 39% higher in August of this year compared to the same time in 2016.
In the last six weeks alone, a 10% price increase has occurred. The high prices are expected to remain in place during the autumn-winter period.
The natural disaster hit Texas last week, prompting flooding and mass evacuations across the state as up to 50 inches of rain fell in some areas.
Oil production and refining facilities in the Gulf Coast region of the US have been closed as a precautionary measure, equating to 15% of refining capacity in the country.
Keith Donnelly from Vayu Energy, which produced the report, said: “We are anticipating considerable energy price volatility for gas customers in Northern Ireland this winter, which could be worrying for businesses at this time when energy use is at its highest.
"If Northern Irish businesses enter this period without some hedge against the risk of rising prices, the volatility could lead to significant price shocks."