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U.K. Natural Gas Advances as Temperatures Fall Below Freezing

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas for next-day delivery rose as forecasters predicted freezing weather, which may drive demand for the heating fuel.

Within-day gas also advanced, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The average temperature in the U.K. fell to minus 1.6 degrees Celsius (29 Fahrenheit) at 6 a.m. London time this morning, and will reach minus 1.9 degrees on Feb. 22, MetraWeather data on Bloomberg using the ECMWF model show. The temperature will average 0.8 degree through Feb. 25, according to the data.

Day-ahead gas advanced 0.8 percent to 67.6 pence a therm at 4:23 p.m. London time. Next-month gas fell 0.2 percent to 66 pence. That’s equivalent to $10.18 per million British thermal units and compares with $3.26 per million Btu of front-month U.S. gas.

Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. tomorrow will probably be 321 million cubic meters, compared with a seasonal norm of 308 million and yesterday’s 325 million, National Grid Plc data show. The delivery network will contain 363 million cubic meters of gas at the end of the period, compared with 349 million at the beginning, grid data show.

Withdrawals from Centrica Plc’s Rough, the U.K.’s largest gas storage facility, fell to zero for almost two hours from 10:56 a.m., grid data showed. Supply from SSE Plc’s Aldbrough storage facility halted for less than an hour at 1:46 p.m.

Flows from Norway, the U.K.’s biggest source of imported gas, were at 108 million cubic meters a day versus a 10-day average of 110 million, Gassco AS data show.

Gas accounted for 33 percent of U.K. power production at 4:25 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 41 percent, nuclear 18 percent and wind 0.2 percent.

Wind power output will peak at 3,232 megawatts tomorrow after reaching no higher than 992 megawatts today, Metra data show. It reached a record 5,082 megawatts on Feb. 3, grid data show.

Electricity for tomorrow slipped 0.5 percent to 50.50 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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