EUROPE GAS-Prices mostly rise on Russian flows, cold weather

Credit: REUTERS/HEINZ-PETER BADER

European and British wholesale gas prices mostly rose on Thursday morning on continued low supplies from Russia and a cold snap.

Updates throughout following the rise of most contracts

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - European and British wholesale gas prices mostly rose on Thursday morning on continued low supplies from Russia and a cold snap.

The British contract for February delivery TRGBNBPMG2 was up 14.50 pence at 235.00 pence per therm by 1100 GMT, while the within-day contract TRGBNBPWKD rose by 15.50 pence to 230.50 p/therm.

In the Dutch TTF gas market, the day-ahead price TRNLTTFD1 was up 4.90 euros at 94.90 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), but the front-month contract TRNLTTFMc1 dipped by 0.60 euro to 95.90 euros/MWh.

"While TTF ended the year at around 70 euros/MWh, it is already back above 90 euros/MWh and we continue to expect high gas prices through the rest of the winter season. The weather and Russian flows remain the main drivers," said analysts at UBS.

European gas prices have been rising on Yamal-Europe's reverse flow, which has sparked concerns about winter supply in Europe, and on political tensions.

The pipeline, which usually sends Russian gas west into Europe, was still flowing east from Germany to Poland for a 17th successive day, and flows rose sharply early on Thursday, after a drop on Wednesday, data from German network operator Gascade showed.

Eastbound volumes were at 7.5 million kilowatt hours per hour (kWh/h), up from 1.7 million kWh/h on Wednesday evening and just over 1 million overnight, data from the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border showed.

"The additional capacity of 147 GWh/d (6.125 million kWh/h) was bought on daily auction yesterday in the reverse direction, which supports the increase in flows," said Refinitiv gas analysts.

Lower volumes on Wednesday sparked anticipation among some in the market that flows could soon return westwards.

A cold snap in north-west Europe and Britain could help to support prices today but temperatures are forecast to increase over the weekend and into next week, which could be bearish, some traders said.

"LNG supply is still heavy for the next few days and the cold snap should ease by next week," a trader added.

Gas-for-power demand in Britain is forecast to drop to 44 million cubic metres (mcm) a day from 60 mcm/day yesterday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, due to stronger wind output.

On the supply side, Norwegian flows to continental Europe are higher than yesterday. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply remains strong, with nearly 30 tankers scheduled for Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands over the next couple of weeks. LNG/TKUK

In other markets, the European benchmark December 2022 emission allowance (EUA) contract CFI2Zc1 dipped by 0.43 euro to 87.15 euros a tonne.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney)

((nina.chestney@thomsonreuters.com; nina.chestney.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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