22nd March 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

The usual suspects -cold weather and low storage continue to support the spot and near curve prices, with demand set to increase over the weekend and into next week.  

Storage at Rough fell to an all-time low yesterday (2,684 GWh), and due to falling pressure cannot flow at full capacity.   Gas flows from Belgium have also come to a halt following a fault at the Bacton interconnector, more information below.

How did the energy markets close?

Although the day-ahead price fell 2.45ppt from yesterday, the within-day price hit 100ppt, despite record levels of gas imports from Norway and Belgium.   High wind generation eased yesterday's day-ahead power price by £1.25/MWh

How did the energy markets open?

The gas markets opening up to a seven year high this morning following a fault with a water/glycol pump in the Bacton boiler house.   Gas has not been flowing from Belgium since 7am and has caused the within-day gas price to touch 150ppt!   The day-ahead is currently trading at 122ppt.   Interconnector (UK) Limited does not expect the problem to be fixed until late afternoon. Electricity day-ahead price rose by 20% on the back of gas; opening up at £82.00/MWh.     Due to the pressure on the gas system, generators are now favouring cheaper coal along with record high wind levels (10% share of fuel mix).

1-year forward prices                                       

No Close report provided

Latest Brent Crude Oil prices

Strong Chinese and US economic data has been offset by weak Euro PMI data and on-going concerns in Cyprus.   As a result, Brent dropped to a low of $107.08/b yesterday.