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British within-day price falls on over supply, interconnector outage

·2-min read
A section of gas pipeline is seen at a National Grid facility near Knutsford

LONDON (Reuters) - British prompt gas prices fell on Friday morning as an outage on the interconnector between Britain and Belgium left Britain struggling to deal with an oversupplied market.

The British gas contract for within-day delivery fell by 7 pence to 17.00 p/therm by 0843 GMT having earlier touched 5p/therm.

"(The) Unplanned IUK technical outage caused severe export capacity reduction and let to a considerable gas balance oversupply on already loose UK market," analysts at Refinitiv said in a daily research note.

Available capacity at IUK was reduced on Thursday and will be offline for much of Friday due to filter blockage, operator Fluxys said.

High output from Britain's wind farms has also reduced gas demand from power plants leaving the market oversupplied by around 18 million cubic metres (mcm), National Grid data showed.

Peak wind power output is forecast at 13.8 gigawatts (GW) on Friday and 14.6 GW on Saturday, Elexon data showed.

Refinitiv analysts forecast gas-for-power demand at 36 mcm/day for Friday, down 22 mcm/d from their previous forecast.

In the Dutch market, prices edged high after climbing on Thursday in response to news that major liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, Freeport LNG would close its Texas coast facility for at least three weeks following an explosion.

The benchmark July contract was up 0.35 euros at 85.00 euros per megawatt hour.

A three-week shutdown will mean the loss of around 13-15 cargoes which analysts said would be manageable for Europe but risks remain if the shutdown is extended.

Russian gas delivery to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline across the Baltic Sea and through Ukraine remained stable on Friday morning, while eastbound flows rose along the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany, operator data showed.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose 0.41 euros to 81.42 euros a tonne.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by David Evans)

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