January 31, 2017 / 10:45 AM / 3 years ago

UK GAS-Prices rise on Rough storage outage

* Rough outage cuts storage withdrawals

* Total E&P UK working on Elgin B issue

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Prompt wholesale gas prices rose on Tuesday morning as a partial withdrawal outage at the country’s largest gas storage site curbed supply.

The day-ahead contract was up 1.65 pence to 55.75 pence a therm at 1022 GMT, while the within-day contract rose by 0.20 pence to 55.70 pence/therm.

“The Rough outage seems to have given markets an excuse to trade higher,” said Wayne Bryan, analyst at consultancy Alfa Energy.

Lower availability from the country’s storage sites means there is less flexibility in the market if demand rises, thereby pushing prices higher.

Centrica said on Monday an outage reducing withdrawals from Rough, Britain’s largest gas storage site, will be extended by a month until March 1.

Storage availability was further reduced due an outage at SSE’s Hornsea storage site, which is expected to continue until Feb. 3.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Total E&P UK said the company was still working to fix an issue at its Elgin-Franklin gas platform which has resulted in a partial shutdown.

“Work continues to restore the issue with the well on the Elgin B platform,” a Total E&P spokesman said on Tuesday.

Flows at the Bacton Seal gas terminal have been affected by the issue but were slightly higher than on Monday at around 9 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d).

Near-curve gas prices also rose, with the February and March contracts up on colder weather forecasts, traders said.

The February contract rose by 1.10 p to 56.00 p/therm, while the March contract climbed by 1.75 p to 55.00 p/therm.

In the Netherlands, the day-ahead gas price at the TTF hub rose by 0.65 euro to 21.35 euros per megawatt hour.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark Dec-17 contract edged up by 0.08 euro to 5.25 euros a tonne. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by Nina Chestney)

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