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U.K. Natural Gas Declines as Temperature Climbs Above Normal

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. natural gas for next-day delivery declined for a third day as above-average temperatures cut demand for the heating fuel.

The within-day contract also fell, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The average temperature in the U.K. today will be 5.2 degrees Celsius (42 Fahrenheit) compared with an earlier forecast for 5 degrees and a seasonal norm of 3.6 degrees, MetraWeather data on Bloomberg using the ECMWF model show.

Gas for tomorrow dropped 0.7 percent to 70.15 pence a therm as of 4:42 p.m. London time. Next-month gas climbed 1.2 percent to 69.4 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.54 per million British thermal units and compares with $3.47 per million Btu of front-month U.S. gas. Summer U.K. gas, for the six months from April, added 0.5 percent to 65.25 pence. The contract has gained 3.6 percent since Jan. 31, its second monthly gain.

Demand in the 24 hours to 6 a.m. tomorrow is predicted to be 329 million cubic meters, the least since Feb. 19, National Grid Plc data show. The delivery network will contain 359 million cubic meters of gas at the end of the period, up from 352 million at the beginning, grid data show.

Flows from Norway, the U.K.’s biggest source of imported gas, were as high as 134 million cubic meters a day, versus a 10-day average of 116 million, Gassco AS data show. Imports from Belgium were headed for 31 million cubic meters after reaching 42 million yesterday, the most since Dec. 6, Interconnector Ltd. data show.

Gas accounted for 35 percent of U.K. power production at 4:45 p.m., grid data show. Coal generated 45 percent, nuclear 15 percent and wind 1.8 percent.

Electricite de France SA halted its 550-megawatt Dungeness B-21 nuclear reactor yesterday for seven days.

Wind power will peak at 1,140 megawatts tomorrow after reaching 1,165 megawatts today, according to Bloomberg calculations. It rose to a record 5,082 megawatts on Feb. 3.

Electricity for tomorrow dropped 4.9 percent to 51 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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