UK gas prices rise as Russian dispute continues

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The Independent Online

British gas prices rose today as it remained unclear when Russian supply would reach Europe and stocks fell as a result of the dispute.

Gas for tomorrow was up 0.75 pence at 62 pence per therm by 10:15 a.m. British time, today rose 3 pence to 61 pence and February climbed 2.05 pence to 59.50 pence.

"There's a risk this may go on a lot longer," said a trader, referring to the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which has left much of Europe without Russian gas for one week now.

"There's pretty heavy (stock) withdrawl everywhere on the continent and also in the UK. The UK exports as well."

Prompt gas prices climbed, despite the long system. There was plenty of supply via major terminals, including Easington, which saw some slowdown in Norwegian supply earlier this week.

Major storages in the country, such as Rough and Isle of Grain, were also adding the supply, while exports continued via Interconnector.

Data from the Interconnector showed 274,855.4 Megawatt hours of exports were scheduled for Wednesday. Exports totalled 514,191.7 Megawatt hours on Tuesday, a lot more than initially expected, and against 522,350.8 a day earlier.

Two European Union states, cut off for a freezing week by the row, launched missions on Wednesday to plead for Russian gas flow to be restored.

In the power market, prices were firm as stronger gas and oil prices offset comfortable supply margins.

Baseload electricity for Thursday stood at about 57 pounds per megawatt hour, compared with about 55.50 pounds of day ahead late on Tuesday. February was up 1.66 pounds at 57 pounds.