British gas for immediate delivery rose on Thursday after a rash of nuclear outages drove demand for gas-fired electricity generation above seasonal norms, while supply decreased from Norway and the Netherlands.
UK NBP within-day gas rose by a penny to 57.2 pence per therm after the transmission system fell roughly 25 million cubic meters/day short of gas at 1000 GMT.
Imports from Norway via the Langeled pipeline more than halved overnight to 18 mcm/day, while there were also flow reductions from all three liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
Dutch deliveries fell below 15 mcm/day amid uncertain supply outlooks and lingering doubts over future LNG shipments.
A bearish tinge to day-ahead prices suggested that Norwegian flows should start returning on Friday, traders said.
September gas was little changed at 52.95 pence. The benchmark winter 2011/12 gas contract looked strong in opening trade, rising above 72 pence for the first time since July 1.
The contract had risen around 5.7 percent from its recent low on Aug. 8. It remained well above technical support levels, although it could not sustain itself above the important 72 pence mark, paring early gains to 71 pence, down 0.70 pence on the day. A string of nuclear outages has helped drive demand for gas-fired power generation this week, lifting gas burn and moving prompt contracts closer to the coal-switching level.