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UK gas rises on lower imports, weekend maintenance

Fri, 27th Apr 2012 13:45

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - British prompt gas prices rose on Friday as i
mports from Norway and the Netherlands dropped and planned maintenance was due to cut offshore supplies at the weekend.

Gas for day-ahead delivery was up 0.65 pence from morning trading levels seen on Thursday at 59.00 pence per therm, while within-day gas added 0.20 pence to 59.70 pence.

'Langeled and BBL flows are lower and the system is short,' one UK gas trader at a utility said on Friday morning, before the market balance turned positive.

Gas flows from Norway via the Langeled pipeline fell by around a quarter to 40 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d) on Friday morning, while imports from the Netherlands through the BBL pipeline halved early in the day but had regained slightly since, National Grid data showed.

The market opened undersupplied but balanced out later in the morning, the same data showed.

Supply from Britain's South Hook liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was steady on Friday following the delivery of one more cargo to the facility late on Thursday.

Gas flows from Shell's Bacton terminal were expected to drop by 16.8 mcm/d for four hours on Saturday, which added pressure to the weekend price.

The contract rose 0.90 pence to 58.60 pence in Friday trading.

Short term weather forecasts showed continuously unsettled conditions marked by strong winds, while temperatures are expected to climb over the 6-15-day period, Britain's Met Office said.

Trading across the curve was thin, but benchmark front-season prices rose, tracking movements on the prompt.

The contract, which rose 0.25 pence to 69.75 pence, defied bearish trading in the oil market, where Spain's sovereign credit rating downgrade weighed on investor confidence.

British power prices for Monday eased to 43.50 pounds per megawatt-hour, reflecting wide supply margins.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey)

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