U.K. Natural Gas Rises as Below-Freezing Weather Approaches; Power Gains

U.K. same-day natural gas jumped to its highest level in 10 months after forecasters predicted snow this week, boosting heating use. Power for tomorrow advanced to its highest level since July.

Gas for delivery today gained as much as 2.7 pence, or 5.4 percent, to 52.8 pence a therm, the highest level since Jan. 11, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. It was at 52.25 pence as of noon in London. That’s equal to $8.35 a million British thermal units.

Snowfall will be predominant in eastern areas of the U.K. with some elsewhere, Jim Dale, a senior meteorologist at British Weather Services in High Wycombe, northwest of London, said by e-mail. Large parts of Europe including Scandinavia, Germany and France will also be affected, he said.

Temperatures in London may fall below zero degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) on Nov. 24 and sink to as low as minus 4 degrees on Nov. 28, according to CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg. “The cold may last into the first week of December, so a long stretch,” Dale said. More than half of Britain’s homes and businesses are heated by natural gas.

National Grid Plc forecast demand will be at 348 million cubic meters at 6 a.m. tomorrow, 11 million more than normal for the time of year. The nation’s pipelines will hold 345 million cubic meters of gas at that time. That’s 4 million more than at the start of today.

U.K. baseload power for tomorrow gained 75 pence to 47.25 pounds a megawatt-hour, according to broker data. National Grid predicts energy use today will peak at 54,649 megawatts. That’s 0.8 percent higher than it forecast on Nov. 19.

About half of Britain’s power supplies can come for gas-fed plants and so the price of the fuel influences electricity markets. Intergen’s 780-megawatt Coryton natural-gas fueled power station in Essex, southeast England, halted on Nov. 19, according to National Grid data. That’s the first time it’s stopped since March, data on Bloomberg show.

Electricity for December advanced 1.35 pounds, or 3 percent, to 46.45 pounds a megawatt hour. Baseload is delivered around the clock. Gas for next month rose 4.2 percent to 51.65 pence a therm. A therm is equal to 100,000 Btus.

To contact the reporters on this story: Catherine Airlie at cairlie@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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