November 8, 2010 / 10:54 AM / 8 years ago

UK gas eases on high supply, Norway field start

* Norway’s Gjoea gas field comes on stream

* First U.S. LNG cargo to Britain due Nov. 18

* Heysham 1-1 nuclear reactor shut unexpectedly Saturday

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - British gas prices fell on Monday as strong input from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and North Sea gas fields met high demand, traders said.

The start-up of Norway’s Gjoea field as well as news of the first U.S. LNG export to Britain added to the bearish picture, traders said.

Gas for delivery on Tuesday fell to 46.00 pence per therm at 0945, down 0.80 pence from the previous session, while the front-month contract slipped one pence to 46.20 pence ($7.48 per mmBtu).

“The market is well supplied today even with higher demand,” one British gas trader said.

“We have plenty of LNG and Norwegian Continental Shelf flows today and low IUK exports.”

National Grid data showed the British gas market was balanced early on Monday, with input from the South Hook LNG terminal gaining around 12 million cubic metres per day (mcm/day) to 52 mcm.

Gas flows through the Langeled pipeline from Norwegian gas fields was strong at around 62 mcm/day, the data showed.

Traders said news of the launch of Statoil’s STL.OL Gjoea gas field gave some impetus for participants to sell contracts, which further depressed prices. [ID:nOSN004817]

Britain’s first LNG delivery from the U.S. was expected to arrive at the Isle of Grain terminal on Nov. 18, marking a possible start for a trend of U.S. cargoes to Europe.

“It’s definitely bearish if we see U.S. LNG as it is just another supply source for UK,” one gas trader said.

Others were more sceptical, saying Asian buyers would offer to pay more than European competitors.

“I still think Asia will outbid. There’s probably a lull in their buying but a cold spell could turn it around very quickly,” another UK trader said.

The Onaiza LNG tanker was expected to reach the South Hook terminal later on Monday, the port authority website showed. [LNG/TKUK]

POWER

In the over-the-counter (OTC) power market, prices firmed on the back of an unplanned nuclear plant outage and higher demand due to colder weather.

EDF Energy’s Heysham 1-1 nuclear reactor went off line unexpectedly on Saturday. [ID:nLDE6A70KW]

Power for day-ahead delivery rose to 44.50 pounds per megawatt-hour on Monday, 0.25 pounds above the previous session.

Below-average temperatures were expected to also lift demand levels, traders said.

National Grid forecasts for wind power production on Tuesday were comparatively high at around 1,200 megawatts, which added to higher generation margins.

The N2EX power exchange settled Tuesday’s spot price below OTC level at 43.32 pounds. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by Anthony Barker)

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