Bloomberg News

U.K. Natural Gas Falls as Demand Declines, Supplies Increase

June 14, 2011

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas fell as demand for the fuel declined and supplies increased. Power also dropped.

National Grid Plc forecast gas demand in the 24 hours through 6 a.m. tomorrow at 203 million cubic meters, 44 million less than normal for the season, according to the pipeline manager’s website and lower than earlier forecasts. The nation’s pipelines will hold 339 million cubic meters, about the same as at the start of today.

Deliveries from the Netherlands through the BBL pipeline increased, grid data show. Flows rose to a rate of about 19 million cubic meters a day from a high of 13 million yesterday.

Gas for July fell as much as 0.75 pence, or 1.3 percent, to 58.55 pence a therm, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. The contract was at 59.64 pence as of 4:30 p.m. in London, equal to $9.61 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

Total SA’s Alwyn platform off the northern Scottish coast closed June 5 for an unknown period of maintenance. Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut its Ormen Lange field, one of Europe’s largest, for 20 days on May 30. Centrica Plc’s South Morecambe field last pumped fuel on May 29 and BG Group Plc plans to halt its Armada platform on June 23 for 45 days. Producers typically undertake repairs and checks on platforms and pipelines during the summer months.

Power Drops

U.K. baseload power for next month fell 15 pence, or 0.3 percent, to 51.35 pounds a megawatt-hour. About half of Britain’s power can come from gas, so the fuel’s costs can influence power prices. Baseload is delivered around the clock.

Within-day gas declined 55 pence to 59.95 pence. Gas for tomorrow was at 59.80 pence at 4:30 p.m.

Gas for the coming winter lost 0.7 pence to 73.3 pence a therm from yesterday’s two-month high after Brent crude climbed.

“The steep rise seen yesterday will likely trigger profit taking in the short term although the foundations appear to being built to move to a higher trading range,” Nick Campbell, an analyst at Lytham St. Annes, England-based Inenco Group Ltd., said in an e-mail today.

U.K. winter baseload power fell 30 pence at 60.20 pounds a megawatt-hour.

--Editors: Rob Verdonck, Alessandro Vitelli

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Farey in London at bfarey@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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