Europe gas prices edge lower as Norwegian exports rise

Europe gas prices edge lower as Norwegian exports rise

LONDON (Reuters): British and Dutch wholesale gas prices edged lower on Friday morning as Norwegian exports ramped up after an outage, though concerns remain over future supply from Russia.

The British day-ahead contract fell by 48.15 pence to 197.10 pence per therm by 0905 GMT while the within-day contract fell by 21 pence to 202 pence per therm.

Flows of Norwegian gas to Britain through the Langeled pipeline were expected at 59 million cubic meters per day, up by about 11 mcm from the previous day.

Norway’s gas transportation operator Gassco said exports were back to normal after a gas leak halted production at the Sleipner Riser North Sea gas transportation hub on Tuesday.

Nominations for Russian gas flows into Slovakia from Ukraine via the Velke Kapusany border point were steady on Thursday while flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline remained shut because of maintenance.

The maintenance is due to end on July 21 but market participants and governments fear it could be prolonged by Moscow.

“The risk that the pipeline could see less than 40 percent capacity is now prominent, as Russia’s latest action to halt NS1 supplies for maintenance work has raised fears that it might be cut off altogether,” analysts at Jefferies said in a research note.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said that Moscow is using cuts in gas supplies to Europe as a weapon in its war with Ukraine and urged everyone to rein in energy consumption.

Though Dutch gas prices slipped on Friday, traders said that fears of a potential halt to supplies are likely to prevent any major price dips.

The benchmark Dutch front-month gas contract fell by 8.77 euros to 170 euros per megawatt hour, still almost 400 percent higher than at the same time last year.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose by 0.21 euros to 84.18 euros a ton.

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