U.K. Gas Extends Gains Amid Freezing Weather; Power Advances

The next-month U.K. natural gas contract extended gains as freezing weather prompted National Grid Plc to predict the highest usage in almost a year and a pipeline halted flows. Next-day power climbed.

National Grid forecast demand may rise 1.6 percent to 445 million cubic meters by 6 a.m. London time tomorrow, that’s 97 million more than normal for the time of year and would be the most since January.

Gas for next month rose 1.8 pence, or 3.2 percent, to 55 pence a therm, its highest since Feb. 11, 2009, according to broker data on Bloomberg as of 9:40 a.m in London. That’s equal to $8.60 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btus.

Interconnector (U.K.) Ltd.’s reversible natural gas pipeline between Britain and Belgium halted flows into Britain at about 5.30 a.m., grid data show. The pipeline was importing as much as 34 million cubic meters a day earlier today.

“There are no operational problems” on the link, Darren Reeve, London-based commercial manager at Interconnector, said in a telephone interview today. “We’re flowing to the customer daily nominations,” he said.

London temperatures may decline to minus 6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) on Dec. 3 from today’s minus 5 degrees, according to CustomWeather Inc. data. Gas is used to heat about 80 percent of the country’s homes and businesses and is used to generate about half of Britain’s electricity supply.

U.K. baseload power for the next working day gained 16 pounds, or 29 percent, to 71 pounds ($111) a megawatt-hour. The contract earlier advanced to 74 pounds, its highest since January 2009, broker data show. Baseload power is delivered around the clock.

Bloomberg compiles prices from brokers including ICAP Plc, GFI Group Inc. and Spectron Group Ltd.

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

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

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