Dutch imports of Norwegian gas rise to eight-year high over weekend

London (Platts)--16 Apr 2018 1213 pm EDT/1613 GMT

Dutch receipts of Norwegian natural gas rose to at least an eight-year high over the weekend as lower indigenous production pushed spot prices on the TTF to a premium to neighboring German hubs.

Dutch imports of Norwegian natural gas averaged 83.79 million cu m/d over April 14-15, the highest in S&P Global Platts records that go back to 2010, bouncing back from just 19.57 million cu m Wednesday, and after averaging 63.05 million cu m/d April 1-13.

Dutch production dropped to just 54.24 million cu m/d Sunday, from above 100 million cu m/d at the start of the month.

Strengthening flows from Norway were encouraged by TTF day-ahead values significantly above the levels seen over the previous years, with the contract averaging Eur19.503/MWh April 1-13, compared to just Eur15.867/MWh during the same period in gas year 2016-17 and just Eur11.311/MWh in gas year 2015-16, according to Platts data.

Meanwhile, Norwegian flows to Germany eased further, averaging 39.64 million cu m/d over the weekend compared with 58.04 million cu m over April 1-13, with TTF spot prices maintaining a premium to the German GASPOOL hub, which averaged Eur19.047/MWh over April 1-13.

More broadly, a mixture of factors kept the spot pricing across European hubs strong, including outages on the Norwegian Continental shelf and continuing maintenance at Libya's Mellitah gas complex, which reduced flows to Italy.

Norwegian outages have mainly been impacting flows to the UK, which were seen at 65.7 million cu m/d at around 1600 BST Monday, down from 75 million cu m Sunday and 114 million cu m last Wednesday. Flows to Dutch/German border stood at 124 million cu m Monday afternoon, compared with 120 million cu m seen Sunday.

Flows from Northwest Europe to Italy via Passo Gries have jumped to average 35.17 million cu m/d so far this month after the Mellitah maintenance started on April 2, compared to an average of 7.72 million cu m/d in March.

Italy's PSV was maintaining a strong premium over the TTF Monday afternoon, with the two contracts heard trading at Eur22.75/MWh and Eur19.875/MWh respectively.

However, some pressure could be on the way for TTF spot as temperatures over Amsterdam are due to rise as high as 8 C above the seasonal average Thursday, from 2 C above average Monday while the Mellitah maintenance is expected to be completed by Wednesday.

--Ornela Figurinaite,

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles,

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