* Day-ahead gas at 60.50 p/th
* System seen 16.4 mcm short
* Winter prices find support at 66 p/th
LONDON, Sept 13 British prompt gas prices edged
higher on Thursday morning on the back of a shortage in the
system, although analysts said improved supplies later in the
day could turn the market bearish.
Gas for Friday delivery was 0.50 pence higher at 60.50 pence
per them at 0830 GMT on Thursday as demand outstripped supply by
16.4 million cubic meters (mcm), National Grid data showed.
Prices, however, were expected to move lower later in the
day as supply ramps up, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon
"Imports from Norway and the Netherlands are higher this
morning and could remain at the current level for day-ahead.
Additionally, UKCS production could increase further due to the
end of maintenance at several terminals," the analysts said.
They suggested a bearish trading range of 60.2 to 59.6 pence
per therm for the day.
Britain's gas market supply was expected to be 140.7 mcm
leaving the market short even though demand was running around
37 percent below average at 157.1 mcm.
Flows through the Langeled pipeline that connects Norway
with Britain hit 30 mcm this morning, up from around 24 mcm on
Wednesday while supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at
Avonmouth ticked up to around 38 mcm from 30 mcm the day
before, National Grid data showed.
"Higher Langeled flows seem to be related to a similar drop
in French import of Norwegian gas through Franpipe," the
Total gas imports for Norway to Britain rose by 5.9 mcm to
Gas prices for winter 2012 delivery edged 0.10 pence higher
to 65.85 pence, stable and in line with front-month Brent Crude
prices which were little changed at $115.70 per barrel.
The contract edged up after briefly falling below 66 pence
per therm in the morning.
Trading around 66.30 pence per therm at 0845 GMT, the
contract was also slightly above its 100 exponential daily
moving average (DMA) rate of 66.13 pence a therm.
In Britain's power market day-ahead prices fell almost 2
pounds on Wednesday's session to 41.88 pounds per megawatt hour.
UK wind power production levels are expected to hit a peak
at almost 5 gigawatts on Friday evening, helping to offset
reduced supply from the country's nuclear plants.
Some 2,280 megawatts (MW) of nuclear capacity was offline at
four plants on Thursday, with EDF's 550 MW Dungeness B22 united
expected to resume output on Friday after an unplanned outage.
(By Susanna Twidale and Henning Gloystein, editing by William