Bloomberg News

U.K. Gas Falls as Ormen Lange Start May Boost Supply From Norway

June 16, 2011

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas for July declined to its lowest in three weeks as supply was set to be boosted by the return from maintenance of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Ormen Lange field amid below-usual demand.

Ormen Lange off the Norwegian coast, one of Europe’s largest fields, will ramp up power use “during this weekend,” Shell said yesterday in a filing to the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange, indicating production will resume.

The field will return about June 17, Jonathan French, a Shell spokesman in London, said by telephone today.

Gas for July declined as much as 1.55 pence, or 2.7 percent, to 56.95 pence a therm. It was at 57.55 pence as of 5 p.m., according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $9.28 a million British thermal units.

U.K. baseload power for next month lost as much as 39 pence to 50.71 pounds a megawatt-hour. About half of Britain’s power can come from gas, so the fuel’s costs influence power prices. Baseload is delivered around the clock.

“I think the market will see a price correction when Norwegian supplies come back,” Jim Robertson, co-founder of Energy Purchasing Specialists (U.K.) Ltd., said by telephone from Teesside, England. “We haven’t seen in recent years such low Norwegian supply as we have now.”

The Langeled pipeline from Norway was importing fuel at a rate of less than 8 million cubic meters a day, Grid data show. That’s about 11 percent of its capacity. There are two other pipelines from Norway to the U.K.

Algerian LNG

Algeria’s Sonatrach is to import its first liquefied natural gas cargo into Britain since April 1. The Ramdane Abane LNG carrier is sailing from Algeria to the Isle of Grain terminal east of London. It’s due to arrive on June 20, according to ship-tracking data.

National Grid Plc forecast gas demand in the 24 hours through 6 a.m. tomorrow at 212 million cubic meters, 34 million less than normal for the season, according to the network manager.

Within-day gas rose 0.25 pence to 59.2 pence. Gas for tomorrow was at 58.65 pence at 4:30 p.m.

Centrica Plc’s Rough storage site, a depleted field under the North Sea, held 28,764 gigawatt-hours as of yesterday, according to National Grid data. That’s the most for this time of year since at least 2004, the data show.

Gas and power for the winter, the six months starting October, fell for a third day.

Gas for the winter lost 1.2 pence to 71.7 pence a therm. U.K. winter baseload power slipped 80 pence to 59 pounds a megawatt-hour.

--Editors: Rob Verdonck, Raj Rajendran

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


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