November 9, 2010 / 10:56 AM / in 7 years

UK gas prices fall on low export demand, storage

* Ample LNG, storage able to supply high heating demand

* Six LNG tankers scheduled for UK over coming weeks

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - British gas prices fell on Tuesday due to low export demand and ample liquefied natural gas (LNG) and storage, which helped bring prices down despite higher heating demand from cold weather.

Gas for December eased 0.20 pence at 45.70 pence per therm ($7.37 per mmbtu) at 1015 GMT while gas for delivery on Wednesday slipped 0.40 pence at 45.90 pence compared with day-ahead prices in the previous session.

Traders said the spread between prompt and front-month prices meant the market expected storage to withdrawal to satisfy demand, as well as LNG terminals having the option to turn up to add to supply.

“It’s moved lower again from yesterday. We have high demand again today, but again weak European prices. We’re quite easily able to cope. The prompt can only rally so much before storage will turn on,” one gas trader said.

“We have a short system and prices tried to push up early on but have sold off now,” another trader said.

Day-ahead prices traded as high as 46.50 pence earlier in the session before easing, according to one broker.

Supply from the Dragon LNG terminal fell to zero on Tuesday morning, after it turned up to around 8 million cubic metres (mcm) on Monday, while South Hook flows also fell around 10 mcm and Isle of Grain round 5 mcm, National Grid data showed.

But traders felt that the prospect of further LNG cargoes scheduled to reach Britain was also bearing down on prices.

“More LNG is on its way to the UK so people are getting bearish even with a short system,” a gas trader said.

The Al Ghuwairiya tanker from Qatar is scheduled to arrive at the South Hook terminal on Nov. 16, bringing the total of expected tankers to six. [ID:nLDE6A80DJ]

Further along the curve, Summer 11 dropped 0.40 pence at 45.50 pence and Winter 2011/12 fell 0.50 pence at 54.10 pence.

In the over-the-counter (OTC) power market, prices fell in line with gas prices.

British baseload power for Wednesday delivery was 43.30 pounds per megawatt-hour, 15 pence lower than day-ahead contracts on Monday, one power dealer said.

The N2EX power exchange settled Wednesday’s spot price above OTC level at 43.63 pounds. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps and Kwok W. Wan, editing by Alison Birrane)

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