LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - British spot gas prices rose on
Thursday on higher demand, while weak oil prices and steady
liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries weighed on contracts
Gas for day-ahead delivery rose to 67.10 pence
per therm, up 0.30 pence on the previous session following an
unexpected rise in demand.
'Demand is actually quite high, above seasonal norms even if
it's supposed to be warm. It seems like the north is burning
quite a lot,' said one trader at a utility.
Thursday gas demand was pegged 2 percent above seasonal
norms at 0800 GMT, National Grid data showed, but the system was
well supplied and coping with higher demand.
Temperatures were expected to remain around seasonal norms
over the coming week, accompanied by strong winds, Britain's Met
Supply to the UK market was also stable with imports flowing
from Norway and the Netherlands.
Prompt prices fell in line with steady supply of liquefied
natural gas (LNG), with three more cargoes expected to arrive in
Britain this month.
Qatargas, the world's largest LNG producer, announced
planned maintenance at one of its production facilities in May,
which could affect supply to the UK market next month, trader
The May contract traded up 0.05 pence at 67.45 pence per
therm following the news.
Curve contracts continued sliding after Brent crude hit a
Benchmark front-season gas slipped 0.05 pence
to 72.55 pence per therm, but despite the losses, the contract
was trading only 3 percent below a near one-year high reached
during a late March price rally.
'So far we are 3 percent off from the late-March high. A
push below 5 percent will take this pullback and make it into a
correction with the potential of reaching between 7-10 percent
below the late-March highs,' said an energy trader.
Britain's over-the-counter power market also saw higher
prices on the prompt as wind power production forecasts were
Day-ahead baseload power traded up 1.65 pounds at 48.55
pounds per megawatt-hour.
Gas power plant owners continue to see low profits, leading
operator GDF Suez to stop production at its Teesside power
'Spark spreads have been very depressed the last few days so
even with today's rally, spot sparks are still below May and
still just below zero clean,' said a power trader.
The restart of EDF Energy's 610-MW Heysham 1-1 nuclear
reactor on Wednesday failed to impact the spot market.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jason Neely)
UK natural gas prices
National Grid instant flows
National Grid gas demand
North Sea gas and power maintenance
UK: baseload prices, peakload prices,
FRANCE: baseload prices, peakload prices, outages, report
GERMANY: baseload prices, peakload prices, outages, report
CENTRAL EUROPE: report
SWITZERLAND: outages, reservoir levels
EU CARBON PRICES SPEEDGUIDE:
Keywords: MARKETS BRITAIN GAS/POWER
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