UK NBP natural gas within-day contract drops as demand falls below seasonal norms

London (Platts)--6 Apr 2018 738 am EDT/1138 GMT

The UK NBP natural gas within-day contract dropped off in Friday morning trade, as total demand in the country was forecast to move below the seasonal average and despite strong medium-range storage withdrawals at the start of the day coupled with increasing UK exports to Continental Europe.

  • UK demand forecast at 236.2 million cu m Friday
  • IUK flows to Belgium at 17 million cu m/d
  • MRS withdrawals drop to 4 million cu m/d

NBP within-day contract moved 0.80 pence/therm lower to 48.80 p/th, with the day-ahead contract down 0.25 p/th at 48.95 p/th, while the weekend contract was seen trading 0.25 p/th higher at 48.75 p/th.

National Grid saw the UK system almost balanced at 1100 BST, with demand forecast at 236.2 million cu m Friday, moving below the 241.6 million cu m average for the time of year, while physical supply came in at 238.3 million cu m.

London temperatures were forecast to remain at 15-16 degrees Celsius during the weekend, ticking lower to 13 C by Thursday, according to the Met Office.

The Met Office also forecast temperatures next week to remain mild across the UK: "Temperatures will be near average, and it will be feeling warm in the sunshine, apart from the eastern areas which will be feeling rather cold under the cloud."

Medium-range reservoir withdrawals were seen at 4 million cu m/d at 1100 BST, from 22 million cu m earlier in the day and after peaking as high as 38 million cu m/d in the early hours on Friday, while long-range withdrawals from Rough continued to be steady at 8 million cu m/d.

LNG regasification was also seen falling to 30 million cu m/d after rising close to 40 million cu m/d Thursday afternoon, with Isle of Grain sendout dropping to 12 million cu m/d at the start of Friday's gas day and Dragon's sendout dropping from 16 million cu m/d to 13 million cu m/d Thursday afternoon, while South Hook remained steady at 5 million cu m/d.

Flows on the IUK pipeline continued to run from UK to Belgium and were nominated at 17 million cu m/d, according to 1100 BST IUK figures, compared with 11 million cu m Thursday, while BBL flows from Netherlands to the UK remained at zero.

Flows from the St. Fergus terminal in Scotland ticked down to 70 million cu m/d at 1100 BST, from 73 million cu m/d at the start of the gas day, with Langelend flows similarly a touch lower at 62 million cu m/d from 65 million cu m/d earlier.

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