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U.K. Natural Gas Little Changed as Norway Flows Decrease

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June 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas for next-day delivery was little changed as pipeline imports from Norway and the Netherlands dropped amid a decline in demand. Next-day power advanced.

Gas for tomorrow gained as much as 1.3 percent to 55.1 pence a therm, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. Imports to the U.K. from Norway were at a rate of 50 million cubic meters a day versus a five-month average of 80 million, Gassco AS data showed. Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. tomorrow will be 178 million cubic meters, down from 181 million in the prior period, National Grid Plc data show.

Next-day gas climbed 0.03 pence, or 0.1 percent, to 54.43 pence a therm at 3:44 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $8.53 per million British thermal units and compares with $2.52 per million Btu of next-month U.S. gas.

Norway’s Aasgard natural-gas field halted at 12:38 a.m. Oslo time and may be closed for 24 hours, according to Gassco AS, the country’s pipeline operator. The unplanned stoppage will reduce production by about 24 million cubic meters today, the company said on its website.

Gas for this winter declined 1.2 percent to 64.4 pence a therm as relief over the result of the Greek election faded, sending crude lower. Antonis Samaris, whose New Democracy party placed first in yesterday’s voting, began his second bid in six weeks to build a coalition as euro-area finance chiefs pressured him to form a government that would keep bailout aid flowing.

Short Network

Greece will run out of money in mid-July, the Syriza party, which placed second in yesterday’s election, said on June 13 after being briefed by Acting Finance Minister Giorgios Zanias.

Exports to Belgium were halted for a sixth day as the pipeline run by Interconnector U.K. Ltd continued with maintenance scheduled to end on June 27.

The network will contain 335 million cubic meters of gas at 6 a.m. tomorrow, down from an opening linepack of 337 million 24 hours earlier, National Grid data show.

Inventories at Rough, the U.K.’s largest gas-storage facility, climbed 0.8 percent yesterday to 29,450 gigawatt-hours, about the same as last year. Medium-range storage increased 1.2 percent to 4,045 gigawatt-hours, versus about 5,800 12 months earlier.

Power for tomorrow traded at 42.75 pounds ($67.02) a megawatt-hour, 2 percent higher than the price for today at the end of last week, broker data show. Winter electricity dropped 1.2 percent to 47.60 pounds a megawatt-hour.

Gas accounted for 36 percent of U.K. power at 3:50 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 38 percent, nuclear 22 percent and wind 0.6 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in London at mbrown42@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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