Gas prices: UK gas falls on pipeline restart

British prompt gas prices fell Monday after deliveries through Norway's Langeled pipeline resumed. Mild weather kept a lid on demand, further pushing gas prices down.

British prompt gas prices fell on Monday after deliveries through Norway's Langeled pipeline resumed, boosting supplies as mild weather kept a lid on demand.

The day-ahead gas contract fell 0.40 pence to 64.05 pence per therm by 0950 GMT, while gas for immediate delivery traded slightly below that level at 63.75 pence.

Prices fell in response to a key import pipeline resuming flow as maintenance at the UK's Easington receiving terminal, an entry point for Norwegian gas, came to an end.

The Langeled pipeline, the UK's main subsea import route, restarted operation on Monday morning, delivering around 16 million cubic metres/day (mcm) to Britain.

Flows are expected to rise to 30 mcm later in the day, according to analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.

Supplies should rise further as maintenance on the Bacton SEAL gas pipeline is expected to end on Monday, freeing up an additional 4 mcm of gas later, according to nominated flows.

Imports from the Netherlands dropped to zero as field operators diverted supplies to neighbouring Belgium, which is struggling to cope with a disruption of supplies fromNorway.

Belgium's Zeebrugge receiving terminal is shut for one day of maintenance, closing off an entry point for Norwegian gas.

To make up for shortfalls, the UK is expected to export around 12 mcm to Belgium on Monday, Point Carbon said.

Britain's gas market was oversupplied by 12 mcm, meanwhile, as withdrawals from midrange storage facilities continued despite an upturn in flows from Norway.

Withdrawals from Holford storage rose to about 22 mcm, National Grid data showed.

Britain was also expecting two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes this week, adding to the bearish supply picture.

Traders were following news from Egypt, where mounting civil unrest threatened to disrupt trade through the Suez Canal, a key shipping route for LNG tankers.

Further out, front-season gas weakened in line with bearish prompt trading.

The contract shed 0.40 pence at 69.90 pence per therm.

In Britain's power market, day-ahead prices were at 46.60 pounds per megawatt hour. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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