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Bloomberg: U.K. Natural Gas Rises as Flow Cut at Bacton Crimps Supplies

By Paul Dobson

July 16 (Bloomberg) — U.K. natural gas for delivery today rose to the highest since Jan. 2 after flows of the fuel to a terminal operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc halted, cutting supplies that were already reduced by repairs and maintenance.

Gas for delivery today rose 6.8 percent to 34 pence a therm from a last day-ahead price on July 13 of 31.85 pence a them. Today’s price is equivalent to $6.92 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btus.

Flows of gas at the Shell-operated Bacton subterminal halted at about 1:30 p.m. local time yesterday, according to grid data on Bloomberg. Deliveries of the fuel reached rates of about 6.6 million cubic meters a day last week, according to the data.

The halt added to supply scarcity, with deliveries of the fuel at BP Plc’s Teesside terminal stopped since July 1 after a ship damaged the CATS pipeline from North Sea fields. The flexibility of the U.K.’s gas network will also be reduced by planned maintenance at Scottish & Southern Energy Plc’s Hornsea gas storage site. The country is also exporting supplies of the fuel to Belgium via a reversible subsea pipeline.

Gas deliveries in the 24 hours through 6 a.m. tomorrow are forecast at 199 million cubic meters, according to forecasts on a Web site run by National Grid Plc, the U.K.’s gas network manager. That won’t satisfy expected demand of 212 million cubic meters of the fuel.

Gas for delivery next month rose 5.4 percent to a record 31.5 pence a therm with broker ICAP Plc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Dobson in London at [email protected]

Last Updated: July 16, 2007 04:19 EDT

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