17th May 2018 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

Gas Power
Market Close Market Close
Gas prices opened lower on Wednesday but unplanned outages continued to restrict flows into the UK and helped contracts on the near-curve recover as the session progressed. Issues at the North Morecambe, Kvitebjorn and Kristin fields, in addition to reduced output at the Bacton Seal terminal combined to limit supply levels. However, demand levels were below the seasonal norm and fuel markets stabilised, providing resistance to the bulls. Despite a bearish opening, power prices displayed minor gains towards the end of yesterday’s session. A rebound in coal prices and weaker gas supply were the main factors behind gains which were displayed across the curve. However, a lower demand forecast helped to cap upward movement on the prompt.
Market Open Market Open
The system has opened 2mcm short this morning despite weak demand levels, as outages in the UKCS and Norway continue to reduce flows, resulting in higher storage withdrawals. This has led to strong upward movement across the near-curve, while a rebound on coal and oil markets have supported prices at the back of the curve. Renewable levels remain weak today but low consumption levels (due to warm weather) have reduced CCGT demand. Contracts at the front of the curve have been pushed higher by gas supply constraints, while prices further out follow rising fuel markets, with fundamentals generally unchanged from yesterday.

For a breakdown of the current generation mix visit our Power Generation Insights page.

Brent Summary

Brent 1st-nearby prices have hit their highest levels for three and a half years, with supportive figures provided by the latest EIA stocks report and the monthly IEA report. Brent currently trades at $79.5/b with the bullish trend expected to continue.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that the 1-year forward price for both commercial gas & commercial electricity increased – closing at 56.91ppt and £55.75/MWh, respectively.

Today’s prices can also be found in an easy to read table on our ‘current UK energy price' page.

Click graph to enlarge

energy price graph - 17-05-2018