UK gas firms on lower storage withdrawals, Norway

Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:46am GMT

* Rough, Langeled gas flows turn down

* Traders watching for diverted LNG tankers

* Hartlepool 2 nuclear reactor shuts for unplanned work

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - British gas prices firmed on Thursday after Rough storage withdrawals turned down and Norwegian flows via Langeled edged lower, effectively lifting the whole curve on a tighter system, traders said.

Gas for Friday traded at 47.85 pence per therm at 1133 GMT, up 0.40 pence from the previous session day-ahead close, while November was up 0.25 pence at 47.35 pence ($7.48 per mmbtu) and December increased 0.45 pence 48.90 pence.

"Storage flows are down. Langeled's flowing 57 mcm (million cubic metres) instead of 65 or 70, so just tightening the system and the curve is going with it," one gas trader said.

National Grid data showed Rough flows fell 14 mcm to 6 mcm early in the session before resuming withdrawals, while Langeled dropped around 6 mcm. Supplies were tight, with Thursday UK gas demand forecast to be 45 mcm above seasonal norms at 337 mcm, National Grid website showed.

Traders were also watching for diverted liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, with French strikes obstructing vessels from offloading cargo at the Montoir and Fos terminals.   Continued...

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