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UK gas prices rise as cooler weather lifts demand
September 17, 2012 / 10:13 AM / 5 years ago

UK gas prices rise as cooler weather lifts demand

* Average UK temperatures 2 degrees below norms
    * UKCS flows rise 17 percent to 74 mcm/d
    * EDF Energy restarts Dungeness B22 nuclear unit

    LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - British prompt gas prices
touched a four-month high on Monday as cooler weather conditions
lifted residential demand and flows from liquefied natural gas
(LNG) terminals fell, leaving the system undersupplied.
    Gas for Monday delivery traded as high as 62.90 pence per
therm, up 1.10 pence on Friday's closing level, early in the
session and day-ahead gas gained 0.55 pence to 62.75
    "This week is going to be cold. If some of the UK
Continental Shelf fields hadn't come back (from maintenance)
things would be even higher," said a UK gas trader at a utility.
    Average temperatures in Britain dropped around 2 degrees
Celsius below seasonal norms on Monday, National Grid data
showed, resulting in a rise in household gas demand.
    Britain's Met Office forecast cooler weather in the north of
the country over the coming days and rainfall.
    Gas production from Britain's offshore fields rose again on
Monday after various installations completed maintenance.
    Flows from British gas fields increased around 17 percent to
74 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d) on Monday morning and
nominations suggested flows could rise to 83 mcm/d, data
compiled by Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters company, showed.
    The rise in offshore production, however, was only partly
making up for a drop in sendouts from Britain's LNG terminals.
    The Isle of Grain and South Hook terminals were both flowing
at a lower rate than at the end of last week, at around 20
mcm/d, according to National Grid.
    The UK gas curve made more modest gains as the oil market
failed to give a clear direction.
    The front-season gas contract added 0.10 pence
to 66.60 pence per therm, while summer 2013 traded at 62.15
pence, down 0.10 pence.
    European gas prices are facing a volatile future as massive
growth in renewable energy capacity will require gas-fired power
plants to fill production gaps at short notice. 
    Energy consultancy Poyry expects UK gas demand to rise 6
percent by 2030 to 34 billion cubic metres per year.
    Britain's power prices tracked gains in the gas market and
defied a better supply picture after the restart of a nuclear
    Day-ahead baseload power traded up 65 pence to 44.35 pounds
per megawatt-hour (MWh).
    EDF Energy restarted its 550-MW Dungeness B22 nuclear unit
on Saturday and wind power production forecasts remained high in
line with strong storm forecasts.
    National Grid pegged day-ahead wind power production at a
peak of 3,000 MW.

 (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey)

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