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EUROPE GAS-Prices rise on Norway outage, sustained low Russian flows

British and Dutch wholesale gas prices edged higher on Wednesday morning on lower flows from Norway while overall the European market is starting to settle amid steady, albeit curbed, Russian supply.

The British day-ahead contract rose by 11.50 pence to 209 pence per therm by 0856 GMT, with the weekend contract up by 13 pence at 190 p/therm.

Flows from Norway to Britain fell by 20 million cubic metres on Wednesday to 36 million cubic metres in the wake of a compressor failure at the vast Troll field, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

UK gas for power consumption is forecast at 3 million cubic metres (mcm) per day higher at 73 mcm/day for Wednesday, Refinitiv analysts said.

Further out, the British July contract rose by 9 pence to 215 p/therm.

On the continent, the benchmark Dutch July contract was up 1.58 euros at 127.30 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), while the day-ahead contract was up 1.75 euros at 125.75 euros/MWh.

“Early Wednesday, the market trades largely sideways, but further price climbs could strike suddenly in case of any new developments surrounding Russian gas deliveries,” analysts at Energi Danmark said in a morning note.

Flows of gas from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and via Ukraine were steady on Wednesday, but remain significantly lower than early last week after Russian gas supplier Gazprom curbed the capacity of Nord Stream to just 40%.

A senior European Commission official described Russian reduction of gas flows to Europe as “very rogue moves”.

The lower flows have sparked fears over European winter supply, with several countries triggering early gas supply warnings and announcing measures to curb demand for the fuel.

European gas storage levels were last seen at 55.06% full, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose by 0.43 euros to 84.30 euros a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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