Gas cheaper in Europe, strikes in France still arouse concern

March 14 (Reuters) – Gas prices in the UK and the Netherlands fell for a second straight day on Tuesday as forecasts of milder and windier weather dampened demand from the energy sector. At the same time, strikes at French LNG terminals and problems with nuclear power generation in France continue to support prices.

Gas futures fronts at the Dutch TTF hub fell by 10.81% to €47.05 per megawatt hour until 1:30 p.m. Moscow time.

The cost of gas billed ‘tomorrow’ in the UK by 13:45 Moscow time fell by 7.78% to 121.5p per term, with ‘instant delivery’ by 12:24 Moscow time – by 4.72% to 121p for the term.

Gas futures at the Dutch hub extended Monday’s losses, which were likely driven by profit-taking by financial market participants, analysts at Engie EnergyScan said in a daily report.

“Perhaps the feeling that European energy systems could cope with the low efficiency of nuclear power plants in France also played a role, given the high production of renewable energy, as evidenced by the current prices of electricity on the spot market,” they added.

A new round of corrosion and welding problems at French nuclear reactors has raised concerns about the generation of the country’s main source of electricity.

The ongoing disruptions at French LNG import terminals offer some support for prices, said Marina Tsygankova, a gas market analyst at Refinitiv.

“The fall in oil prices and the risk of a downturn in commodity markets as a result of the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank are also bearish risks,” she added.

The British gas system lost 13.5 million cubic meters this morning, according to National Gas figures.

According to the latest data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, gas storage facilities in Europe are 56.5% full.

The application for pumping Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine on March 14 is 42.4 million cubic meters per day through the zero-volume metering station Sudzha by GIS Sokhranovka, according to data from the gas transmission operator of Ukraine and Gazprom.

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(Nora Buli in Oslo)


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