Natural gas futures continued to rise yesterday
Natural gas futures continued to rise yesterday as no gas flows from Russia to Germany were recorded again. Gazprom did book firm capacity via the Mallnow entry point for January but there have been no flows to the west since before Christmas. While the mild weather has helped maintain European gas storage, levels are 20BCM down on the same time last year. LNG output from the U.S. has increased and most deliveries have been headed for Europe. Britain has received six cargoes this month, but current high winds have delayed vessels berthing at South Hook. The February contract for the NBP closed at 235.20p, up 11.75p yesterday, and the summer product added 8.19p. Prompt prices save for the spot settled an average of 6.00p higher.
Near curve futures contracts for GB baseload settled mixed
Near curve futures contracts for GB baseload settled mixed after a choppy day of trading on Thursday. Contracts from the summer out held early gains and settled an average of £3.00/MWh higher while closer in, the front month shed £22.00/MWh to close at £277.50/MWh. A fall in carbon EUAs opposed gains in gas futures on the NBP yesterday. Baseload for the day ahead fell by £4.00/MWh from the previous day, as wind generation is forecast to remain high over the coming days. Wind is to threaten gas fired generation for top spot in the power stack on Friday with generation from the renewable source expected to get close to 13.0GW.
Supply outages in Libya provided more support for the crude oil markets
Supply outages in Libya along with unrest in Kazakhstan provided more support for the crude oil markets on Thursday with prices moving up by over a dollar a barrel. Shutdowns and maintenance on Libya’s oil fields has seen production drop to 729,000 barrels per day, just over half the levels recorded last year. Kazakhstan, a member of the OPEC+ group, is experiencing a rebellion which has seen Russian troops being deployed to quell the situation. The nation produces 1.6 million barrels per day and there are concerns output could be affected and so tighten the supply/ demand gap. OPEC+ have agreed to increase output by a further 400,000 barrels per day next month but the group were shy of December’s planned rise.
Crude oil markets have opened firmer this morning
The crude oil markets have opened firmer this morning with Brent 87 cents a barrel higher in early trading. Russian troops were sent into Kazakhstan yesterday to quell an uprising and early reports are saying order has been restored in the main city of Almaty, but the crude oil markets remain jittery. In the gas markets, early gains to near futures have been almost fully reversed as February has moved off an early high of 251.11p to last trade at 236.00p. Further out, the summer contract is 4.69p down at 205.00p. The NBP prompt market is yet to agree a trade, but with the GB gas system 13MCM long against today’s forecast demand of 318MCM, the market should open softer.
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