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U.K. Natural Gas Advances as Demand Surges on Freezing Weather

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas for tomorrow rose for the first time in three days as demand jumped to the highest level in almost two weeks amid forecasts for freezing weather.

Within-day and month-ahead contracts also advanced, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The low temperature in London today was zero degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) and will drop to minus 1.1 degrees tomorrow and minus 1.8 degrees Feb. 9, CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg show.

Gas for tomorrow rose 0.4 percent to 67.95 pence a therm at 5 p.m. London time, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The next-month contract gained 0.2 percent to 66.2 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.37 per million British thermal units and compares with $3.43 per million Btu of front-month U.S. gas.

Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. tomorrow will be 345 million cubic meters, the most since Jan. 25, National Grid Plc data show. The delivery network will contain 356 million cubic meters at the end of the period, down from 352 million at the beginning, grid data show.

Total system flows were as high as 371 million cubic meters a day, the most since Jan. 26, grid data show.

Flows from Norway, the U.K.’s biggest source of imported gas, touched 123 million cubic meters a day, up from a 10-day average of 110 million, Gassco AS data show. Dutch imports reached 35 million cubic meters a day, equal to the most since Jan. 25, grid data show.

Norwegian gas output was reduced by 6.7 million cubic meters today for one day, Statoil ASA said on its website.

Gas accounted for 39 percent of U.K. power production at 4:45 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 37 percent, nuclear 15 percent and wind 1.4 percent.

Electricity for tomorrow dropped 0.8 percent to 52.85 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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