Friday, 25 May 2012

UK #gas prices for next week rise on Bacton work

British prompt gas prices eased slightly on Friday morning as the system was oversupplied, but prices for early next week rose on the back of expected maintenance work at the Bacton Shell gas field.

Warm weather and a long weekend ahead in many parts of continental Europe left Britain's gas demand at 183.3 million cubic metres (mcm), almost 30 percent below the seasonal norm, and meant that the UK market was oversupplied by around 10 mcm, according to data from National Grid.

As a result, gas prices for within-day delivery fell by 0.2 pence per therm since Thursday, to 52.80 pence at 1045 BST (0945 GMT) on Friday.

Although the UK's MetOffice said that the current warm weather was expected to last until next week, gas prices for delivery on Monday rose slightly as maintenance at the Bacton Shell gas field was expected to begin next Monday.

Gas prices for delivery on Monday rose around one penny a therm to 53.40.

'The maintenance at Bacton Shell is expected to start next Monday, lasting for 36 hours with an expected loss of 10.5 mcm/d in capacity. This would reduce UK continental shelf gas production early next week,' analysts at Point Carbon said, adding that they expected gas prices to come out between 53 and 53.50 pence per therm on the back of this maintenance.

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