North Sea pipe delay fails to push up gas prices

A ten-day delay to the opening of a North Sea gas pipe after maintenance work has so far failed to push up gas prices, according to the daily market report. […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A ten-day delay to the opening of a North Sea gas pipe after maintenance work has so far failed to push up gas prices, according to the daily market report.

The Vesterled pipeline runs from the Heimdel field in Norway’s stretch of North Sea to the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland.

Sarah Marshall, Client Portfolio Manager on npower’s Optimisation Desk said: “Yesterday Gassco announced that maintenance at Vesterled which was due to finish on 19 May has now been extended to 30 May.

“This has done little to support prices however which are lower this morning due to the healthy fundamental outlook.”

She explained the UK’s gas system opened roughly balanced this morning: “We’re seeing the gas system roughly balanced this morning as demand has increased to around seasonal normal levels.”

The analyst suggested this was because more gas power plants are fired up and needing fuel today.

The UK’s power system is also “comfortable” with a peak power margin forecast at more than 16 gigawatts (GW). Wind has dropped to around 1.5GW and nuclear at 7.3GW as nuclear plant maintenance work continues, added Ms Marshall.