Gas prices steady amid heavy Norway maintenance

Dutch and British wholesale gas prices were largely steady on Tuesday morning as the market was looking for any indication of potential extensions to Norwegian maintenance outages, which are at their heaviest this year so far.

The benchmark front-month contract at the Dutch TTF hub inched 0.10 euro higher to 31.90 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0807 GMT, according to LSEG data.

In the British market, the day-ahead contract was 1.00 pence lower at 76.50 p/therm, while the within-day contract was down 0.35 pence at 76.00 p/therm.

"The Troll field and Kollsnes processing plant will be offline today and Wednesday and flows will slowly return to normal towards the end of May," analysts at ING said in a note. This would obviously impact pipeline flows to Europe, they added.

Troll is Norway's largest gas field has a capacity of 133 million cubic metres (mcm) per day, while the Kollsnes closure removes 158 mcm/day, according to Gassco data.

"The main concern for the market will be the timely return of these assets which, historically, can be unreliable," consultancy Auxilione said in their morning report.

Nominations of pipeline gas supplies to Europe stood at 178.9 mcm/day on Tuesday, their lowest since September, with 87 mcm/day of supply expected to return from Wednesday, Gassco's data showed.

Meanwhile, warmer weather until the end of May and windier weather until Thursday has reduced gas demand and supported lower prices, LSEG analyst Tomas Marcin Kowalski said.

British peak wind power generation is set to jump from 3.5 gigawatts (GW) on Tuesday to 11.4 GW on Wednesday, Elexon data showed.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract was 0.37 euro lower at 73.85 euros per metric ton.

(Reporting by Nora Buli in OSLO; editing by Nina Chestney)


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