UK spot gas prices ease, cold supports prompt
LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - British spot and curve gas prices eased on Monday morning as supplies improved and oil prices remained well below last week's highs, although the price for next week firmed slightly on a colder weather outlook.
Supplies of gas from Norway rebounded over the weekend after exports from the Kollsnes and Kaarstoe gas treatment plants were cut by power supply problems. [ID:nOSN005005]
Increased inputs from Norway, combined with a rise in flows from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, helped push prices for gas delivered on Monday and Tuesday down to lows of around 54.50 pence, while prices for March dipped to 53.95 pence per them ($8.69 per mmbtu) before rising to 54.20 by 1210 GMT.
Colder weather forecast next week pushed the working days of next week up 0.20 pence to 54.80 pence at around midday, but the rest of the market fell after rallying last week on the back of bullish oil markets driven by concern over the stability of the Middle East.
Brent crude oil prices -- which can influence UK gas prices by making UK gas more attractive for consumers in continental Europe -- hovered around $100 on Monday, off highs last week above $103. [O/R]
Summer 2011 gas fell 0.65 pence to 53.00 pence by midday Monday, while Winter 2011/12 fell 0.30 to 60.20 pence, according to one broker.
Prompt UK power prices were steady after the restart over the weekend of several nuclear power plants was partly compensated by the shutdown of another reactor.[ID:nLDE7160JC]
Baseload power for Tuesday traded 46.00-46.45 pounds per megawatt hour, compared with 46.00-46.25 pounds paid for Monday baseload contracts on Friday, according to one broker. (Reporting by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Alison Birrane)
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