Europe Gas Swings Amid Crimped Norway Supplies and Cold Weather

  • Bloomberg
  • Commodities News
Europe Gas Swings Amid Crimped Norway Supplies and Cold Weather
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- European natural gas fluctuated with Norwegian supplies expected to drop to the lowest in more than two months in the middle of a cold snap that’s boosting demand.

Available capacity at several Norwegian facilities has been reduced by works and orders for shipments have fallen. While flows from the country are crucial for meeting demand, Europe’s fuller-than-normal stockpiles are providing a healthy buffer for any disruption. High imports of liquefied natural gas are also helping ease concerns.    

Gas consumption could rise further over the next few days as a wave of cold temperatures is expected to persist in northwest Europe for most of this week. Maxar Technologies (NYSE: MAXR ) forecasts London dropping 4.4C below the seasonal average on Monday and Paris 3.6C colder on Thursday. Conditions are seen warmer next week.

The frigid weather has brought back some demand after a prolonged period of unusual warmth has gas storage sites about 78% full compared with a five-year average of 58%. The reserves have kept Europe on track to ride out this winter without any major disruptions, and pushed gas prices to about half the levels of what they were during the previous cold snap in early December.

Russian pipeline gas transit via Ukraine declined last week and nominations suggest flows will remain curbed on Monday, though some analysts suggest this may be due to lower demand from buyers rather than supply issues.

Dutch front-month futures , were 0.2% lower at €66.80 a megawatt-hour by 8:58 a.m. in Amsterdam, after rising as much as 3.1% earlier. They increased 10% on Friday for the first weekly gain after five straights periods of declines.  

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