Britain has enough gas for summer demand, National Gas Transmission says

(Reuters) - Britain will have sufficient gas supply to meet demand from April to September and is expected to sustain flows to Europe, the UK's National Gas Transmission company said on Tuesday.

Total UK gas demand was forecast at 33.25 billion cubic meters (bcm) this summer versus 42.08 bcm in the same period of 2022, the company said in its annual summer outlook.

Supply, mainly from the North Sea and Norway, was forecast to be 33.25 bcm compared to 42.2 bcm last year, it added.

Britain exports some gas to the rest of Europe via interconnectors. Demand from European states for gas from the UK usually drops in the warmer summer months, but last year it rose after pipeline supplies from Russia fell amid the Ukraine war.

The report said average UK exports to the rest of Europe is expected to be 5.5 bcm, down from 12.16 bcm last summer.

"There are hints of greater stability in the energy market going forward as price differentials narrow and forward price curves reduce," the report said.

European storage levels ended the winter season at 56%, well above the five-year average and is expected to meet a target of 90% full storage by November, the report added.

Last year, Britain imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and exported the regassified fuel via pipeline interconnector, resulting in a 40% rise in LNG imports than a previous peak in 2016. LNG imports would be lower this year, the report said.

In a separate report, Britain's Electricity System Operator (ESO) said it expected sufficient electricity supplies this summer and would be able to export some by interconnector cable.

"We expect to have sufficient operational surplus to support some exports to Europe throughout summer if needed," it said. ESO said electricity prices in Britain were expected to be lower this summer than in 2022 partly due to high European gas storage levels that were helping lower energy prices. But it said prices would still be higher than in summer 2021 before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

British peak summer electricity demand was forecast at 28.3 gigawatts (GW) with minimum demand expected to 15.6 GW. Both figures are slightly lower than in 2022.

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