Gas prices rocket to five year highs on power cut


UK GAS prices jumped to five-year highs yesterday, as a power cut at a North Sea gas plant over the weekend left the market undersupplied.

Intra-day gas prices traded as high as 120p per therm yesterday, as the system fell victim to undersupply.

Norway’s Ormen Lange field, which is majority owned by Shell, stopped production from Saturday morning to Sunday evening due to a loss of power from the Nyhamna gas plant in bad weather. The field – which flows gas volumes to the UK via the Langeled pipeline – is now back up and running, although production is reduced because there is insufficient power from the grid to produce as normal, a Shell spokesman said yesterday.

The energy giant said it was waiting for Statnett – the group responsible for energy transmission in Norway – to inspect the gridlines and restore normal power supplies.

Data from the National Grid yesterday showed that gas flows through the Langeled pipeline fell to below 20m cubic metres per day (mcm/d) on Saturday morning, and had only recovered to around 42mcm/d yesterday afternoon. It has the capacity for around 70mcm/d.

A spokesman from National Grid yesterday told City A.M. that the “market had reacted in the right way”, but that energy had been brought in from other sources to balance supply back again.

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