LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - British gas prices moved higher on Friday as the system was left short by lower flows from UK gasfields, fewer imports and less liquified natural gas remains, while colder weather will drive demand for heating, traders said Friday.
The within-day gas price gained 1.50 pence day on day to 67.20 pence per therm, while day-ahead gas traded up 1.35 pence at 66.90 pence.
'A mix of factors are impacting the prompt contract, lower supply and colder weather while the lengthy reduction in supply from Troll (Norway's largest gasfield) is supporting the March contract,' said a trader at a utility.
The UK gas system was short at around 15.5 million cubic metres per day (mcm/day), National Grid data showed, while forecast demand of 294.7 mcm exceeeded predicted supply of 279.2 mcm, according to data from National Grid.
Demand is expected to be 3.2 percent below seasonal norms the same data showed, although colder weather is expected after a recent spell of milder temperatures, the Met Office forecast.
Analysts at Reuters Point Carbon said the fall in supply was mainly the result of weaker flows through the Vesterled pipeline into the St Fergus terminal, where supply was down to 25 mcm/day from over 35 mcm/day on Thursday, from while supply to continental Europe rose.
The IUK pipeline once again flipped into import mode, with 8 mcm/day expected to flow from Belgium to Britain, while supply from the South Hook LNG terminal is expected to fall to around 5 mcm, down from 9 mcm on Thursday.
'With no new cargoes observed for the terminal, reduced LNG supply is expected to continue also in February. Langeled and BBL (pipelines) are also flowing lower today,' the analysts said.
Further along the curve, traders said that lower output at Norway's Troll gas field, which will last until early April, would continue to support month-ahead prices.
March gas gained 0.35 pence to 65.60 pence.
Further-out gas prices were also supported by strong crude oil, with the British front-season gas price rising to 63.35 pence, up from 62.80 on Thursday morning.
Brent crude was trading at $115.62 a barrel on Friday, and earlier hit $115.91, its highest level in more than three months, as escalating tension in the Middle East stoked supply worries.
British over-the-counter (OTC) power prices rose day on day on the back of fossil fuel plant outages, even though underlying healthy supply margins kept prices comparatively low.
Day-ahead power traded at 48.63 pounds per megawatt-hour, up around 0.68 pounds on the previous session.
(Reporting by John McGarrity, editing by William Hardy)
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