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U.K. Gas Rises Amid Forecasts for Coldest Weather in 11 Months

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas rose amid forecasts for the coldest weather in 11 months, boosting demand for the heating fuel as Norwegian flows were disrupted.

The day-ahead contract climbed as much as 4.6 percent, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The temperature in London will drop to minus 6 degrees Celsius (21 Fahrenheit) on Jan. 16, the lowest since February, CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg show. Statoil ASA reduced gas output by 18.8 million cubic meters a day today and will cut production by 7.6 million tomorrow, the company said on its website.

Gas for tomorrow advanced 1.45 pence, or 2.2 percent, to 67.2 pence a therm at 4:36 p.m. London time, after reaching 68.8 pence, the most since Dec. 7. Month-ahead gas increased 0.3 percent to 67.9 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.87 per million British thermal units and compares with $3.10 per million Btu of front-month U.S. gas.

Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. tomorrow will be 278 million cubic meters, up from 259 million yesterday, and the most since Dec. 23, National Grid Plc data show. Flows are forecast at 269 million, the network operator said on its website.

Imports from Norway, the U.K.’s biggest source of imported gas, fell to as low as 69 million cubic meters a day, the least since Dec. 23, Gassco AS data show. Exports to Belgium were at 3.5 million cubic meters a day, Interconnector Ltd. data show.

Withdrawals from Rough, the U.K.’s largest gas-storage facility, were at a rate of 44 million cubic meters a day, grid data show.

Gas accounted for 33 percent of U.K. power production at 4:35 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 40 percent, nuclear 18 percent and wind 1.5 percent.

Electricite de France SA started its 605-megawatt Hartlepool-1 nuclear reactor at about 2 a.m. London time today, grid data show.

Electricity for next-day delivery jumped 5.5 percent to 51.50 pounds a megawatt-hour, broker data show.

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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