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Markets

UK GAS-Prompt prices edge up on looming French power strike, lower BBL imports

  • Gas for immediate delivery inched up by 0.10 pence to 41.00 p/therm.
Published December 9, 2020

LONDON: British prompt wholesale gas prices edged up on Wednesday morning as imports throught the BBL pipeline fell and amid concerns about a looming strike at EDF's French power plants.

The day-ahead contract was 0.50 pence higher at 41.00 pence per therm by 0853 GMT.

Gas for immediate delivery inched up by 0.10 pence to 41.00 p/therm.

Traders said a looming strike at EDF in France from Thursday could be providing upside support for gas.

Although the impact on power capacity of the strike is not known, France relies on nuclear for the bulk of its electricity and disruptions there can have a knock-on effect on the UK gas market.

EDF's unions have called to go on strike on Dec. 10 against the French utility's restructuring plan.

Imports through the BBL pipeline to Britain are nominated at 8 million cubic metres (mcm), 11 mcm lower from the 19 mcm seen since the beginning of the month.

Other market drivers are bearish.

Local distribution zone demand, mainly for heating, is lower and liquefied natural gas send-out is nominated higher.

The latest weather forecast for the rest of this week shows below normal temperatures in north-west Europe but milder weather with temperatures around 3 degrees Celsius above normal are forecast for next week, Refinitiv gas analysts said.

Gas-for-power demand is forecast 19 million cubic metres (mcm) lower for Thursday as stronger wind output is expected.

Higher wind generation typically lowers demand for gas from power plants.

Peak wind generation is forecast at 6.9 gigawatts (GW) on Wednesday, rising to 12.4 GW on Thursday, out of total metered capacity of around 18 GW, Elexon data showed.

The gas system was oversupplied by 9 mcm, with demand forecast at 335 mcm and flows at 344 mcm/day, National Grid data showed.

The January gas price at the Dutch TTF hub was up 0.12 euro at 14.52 euros per megawatt hour.

The benchmark Dec-20 EU carbon contract was 0.51 euro higher at 30.08 euros a tonne.

GAS

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