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Norway Restores Natural Gas Flows to UK Terminal after Outage

Natural gas from Norway resumed flowing to Britain’s Easington terminal early on Friday, following several days of repairs on a pipeline link that had halted supply to the UK terminal and sent European gas prices to a six-month high.

Gas flows at the Easington terminal from the Langeled link from Norway were at about 50 million cubic meters (mcm) per day at 10:22 a.m. UK time on Friday, compared to zero on Thursday, data from UK’s National Gas transmission network showed.

An outage on Sunday halted gas supply from Langeled to the UK, after the Sleipner hub offshore Norway was shut down, which also stopped operation at the Nyhamna onshore processing plant. The Sleipner Riser offshore hub is a connection point for the Langeled pipelines connecting the Nyhamna plant on the west coast of Norway with the Easington terminal in the UK.

After news of the outage broke, European natural gas prices surged on Monday to the highest level in six months as supply from Norway crumbled with the unplanned outage.

Norway became Europe’s top gas supplier after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the slump in Russian gas exports to the EU. These unplanned outages highlighted, again, the vulnerability of Europe relying on natural gas imports.

The Dutch TTF Natural Gas Futures, the benchmark for Europe’s gas trading, surged by 13% on Monday, to the highest level since December. The UK benchmark gas prices also soared by 15% early this week as supply from Norway to Britain was crippled.

After flows were restored early on Friday, the TTF front-month futures dropped by 1.2% in Amsterdam at 9:25 a.m. local time, to $36.26 (33.285 euros) per megawatt-hour (MWh).

In April, portfolio managers boosted their bullish bets on Europe’s gas prices to the highest level in six months. Money managers have been concerned that unplanned outages in Norway during the summer, higher natural gas demand in Asia, and the end of the current gas transit deal for Russian pipeline gas to flow via Ukraine at the end of 2024 could sap gas supply for Europe and boost prices.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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