Gas prices boosted after Ukraine government buildings seized

UK gas prices were propped up this morning after the news pro-Russian activists breaking into several official buildings in eastern Ukraine, according to the daily market report. In a reversal […]

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By Vicky Ellis

UK gas prices were propped up this morning after the news pro-Russian activists breaking into several official buildings in eastern Ukraine, according to the daily market report.

In a reversal of what took place on capital Kiev last month, yesterday crowds of pro-Russian demonstrators rushed government buildings in three major cities.

Just under a third of Europe’s gas is carried from Russia through Ukraine and the recent civil unrest has sparked fears for the security of western European supplies.

Sarah Marshall, Client Portfolio Manager on the Optimisation desk at npower said: “The curve is seeing support this morning due to escalating tensions in the Ukraine where pro-Russian activists have seized a number of Ukraine government buildings.”

In contrast, easing political friction in Libya saw oil prices fall: “Oil dropped to below $106 a barrel this morning as over the weekend Libya’s government came to an agreement with rebels which will see the seaports gradually reopen.”

Overall the UK’s gas system was looking “well supplied” this morning as the Linepack – the amount of gas in the national transmission system – is currently forecast to close 3 mcm “long”, that is, with extra to spare.

Flows from the Langeled and BBL pipe stayed the same from last week while South Hook terminal’s gas remains at higher levels and another LNG tanker is due in the UK, taking the total in April up to four.

But Ms Marshall added: “Despite this however with temperatures forecast to drop to around seasonal normal level, we are seeing prompt and near curve prices supported this morning.”

On the power side, she said we’re seeing a healthy peak power margin of 14GW.