U.K. Natural Gas Falls as Belgian Imports Approach 3-Year High

U.K. natural gas for same-day delivery declined as imports from Belgium climbed to the highest level in almost three years, offsetting the strongest demand since February.

Next-day and next-month gas also fell, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show. Imports from Belgium rose to 49 million cubic meters a day, the most since January 2010, according to National Grid Plc. Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. London time tomorrow will be 363 million cubic meters, grid data show.

Within-day gas dropped 2.1 percent to 69.4 pence a therm at 4:10 p.m. London time after falling 3 percent, the most since Nov. 1. Month-ahead gas slid 1.6 percent to 69.15 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $11.10 per million British thermal units and compares with $3.65 per million Btu of front-month U.S. gas.

Imports from Belgium were a record 8,600 gigawatt-hours (800 million cubic meters) in October and November, Interconnector U.K. Ltd. said Dec. 4. The previous record for the period was 6,000 gigawatt-hours in 2004.

The delivery network will contain 333 million cubic meters of gas at 6 a.m. tomorrow, down from 345 million at the start of today, grid data show.

Inventories at Rough, the U.K.’s largest gas-storage facility, fell 0.7 percent yesterday to 35,224 gigawatt-hours, compared with about 39,000 at the same time last year, National Grid data show. Withdrawal capacity will be restored at 10 p.m. today, after being reduced by 50 percent since Nov. 28, Centrica Plc said.

Flows through the Theddlethorpe receiving terminal in the east of England were at zero for a sixth day, grid data show. The facility may start early next week, operator ConocoPhillips said on its website yesterday.

Gas accounted for 35 percent of U.K. power production at 4:05 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 39 percent, nuclear 15 percent and wind 5.2 percent.

Day-ahead electricity fell 5.4 percent to 51.25 pounds a megawatt-hour, broker data show.

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