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Bloomberg: U.K. Natural Gas Declines as Supplies May Outstrip Demand

By Lars Paulsson and Nicholas Larkin

July 19 (Bloomberg) — U.K. natural gas costs fell as forecasts indicated growing supplies may outstrip expected consumption of the fuel today. Gas in mainland Europe and U.K. power prices also dropped.

Gas for same-day delivery declined 4.8 percent to 27 pence a therm at 9:20 a.m. London time, according to prices on Bloomberg from the broker Spectron Group Plc. That’s equivalent to $5.50 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btus. Gas for delivery a day ahead fell as much as 9.3 percent to 26.75 pence a therm, according to Spectron.

Gas deliveries may increase today, forecasts from National Grid Plc show. Supply in the 24 hours through 6 a.m. tomorrow may be 233 million cubic meters, outstripping projected demand of 230 million cubic meters, which is 58 million more than the seasonal norm, data on a National Grid Web site show.

Supplies of gas have shrunk this month following a halt to flows on July 1 at BP Plc’s terminal at Teesside, England, after a ship damaged the CATS pipeline from North Sea fields. Deliveries of the fuel also stopped at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Bacton terminal on England’s east coast on July 15, according to data on Bloomberg from National Grid.

U.K. baseload power for delivery a day ahead dropped 13.2 percent to 24.25 pounds ($49.75) a megawatt-hour, according to the broker GFI Group Inc. It earlier traded as low as 24 pounds a megawatt-hour.

Gas prices in the Netherlands also fell. Dutch gas can follow U.K. contracts because a pipeline allows trading between the two countries.

Gas for delivery tomorrow at the Netherlands Title Transfer Facility lost 7.2 percent to 14.80 euros a megawatt-hour, according to Spectron. The price equals $5.99 a million British thermal units. August gas traded at 15.15 euros a megawatt-hour, down 0.3 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lars Paulsson in London at [email protected] Nicholas Larkin in London at [email protected]

Last Updated: July 19, 2007 04:48 EDT

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