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Bloomberg: U.K. Natural Gas Declines on Warmer Weather, Supply Resumptions

By Renee Lawrence

May 22 (Bloomberg) — U.K. natural-gas prices declined as forecasts of warmer weather trimmed demand for heating and maintenance at the country’s biggest gas terminal was completed.

Gas for delivery balance of this week at the National Balancing Point, the U.K. trading hub, fell 2 percent to 21.95 pence a therm at 11:45 a.m. in London, according to broker ICAP Plc. That equals $4.33 per million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btus.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc restarted its St. Fergus natural-gas terminal in Scotland today after a 24-hour shutdown for maintenance. Shell’s facility is one of three sub-terminals at the St. Fergus terminal, Britain’s biggest, that pump gas into the country’s distribution network.

“The Shell maintenance has ended and that has boosted supply in the system,” Richard Bedfordsmith, a gas trader at Inenco Group Ltd. in Lancashire, England, said by phone today. “The system is balancing itself out after the shutdown.”

Gas producers usually carry out maintenance in the summer when demand is lower. Britain is importing more gas as output from aged North Sea fields declines.

Temperatures in London may climb to 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit) tomorrow and 26 degrees on Thursday May 23, the British Broadcasting Corp. said on its Web site.

Gas for delivery today at the National Balancing Point fell 3 percent to 22.6 pence a therm, according to ICAP. Gas for delivery in June rose 0.7 percent to 22.4 pence a therm.

Gas was flowing into the U.K. at a rate of 209.2 million cubic meters a day at 11:39 a.m. local time, 22.9 million less than yesterday’s average, according to real-time data from gas network operator National Grid Plc published on Bloomberg.

Dutch gas prices also declined. Gas for delivery a day ahead at the Netherlands Title Transfer Facility lost 0.8 percent to 11.75 euros ($15.8) a megawatt-hour in Amsterdam, according to ICAP. The price equals $4.66 per million British thermal units.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Lawrence in London at [email protected] ;

Last Updated: May 22, 2007 06:55 EDT

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