“Healthy” gas system outweighs Ukraine fears

A “healthy” gas system in the UK is helping to keep a check on gas prices rising because of escalating tensions in the UK, according to a daily market report. […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A “healthy” gas system in the UK is helping to keep a check on gas prices rising because of escalating tensions in the UK, according to a daily market report.

Gemma Bruce, Client Portfolio Manager at npower’s Optimisation Desk said: “The gas market has opened flat to a touch lower this morning as conflicting drivers keep prices in check.

“The fundamentals remain bearish with the gas system open in length. However we’re seeing ongoing tensions in the Ukraine offering some support to the gas market still.”

She said Norwegian flows have picked up from about 5 million cubic meters (mcm) from Friday’s level: “This is largely due to constant take of Norwegian gas being lower this morning.”

“LNG send out remains robust over 36mcm this morning with a further cargo due to arrive at the South Hook terminal on 30 April,” she added.

Margins have “tightened slightly” on the power system today but overall it’s been a “healthy” 13GW, said Ms Bruce: “This is just on the back of the lower wind generation which is below 500MW this morning and also a reduction in nuclear generation as Hartlepool 1 came offline over the weekend for its refuelling programme.”

Brent oil is back trading above $110 a barrel as tensions in Ukraine escalated over weekend, said the analyst, while this morning pro-Russian rebels were said to have seized a police station in east Ukraine.