World Bulletin/News Desk
Britain's biggest gas storage site ran dry of normal supply on Friday and is using gas usually reserved for the technical operation of the site, National Grid data showed.
Unusually cold weather in Britain has boosted gas consumption, forcing the Rough storage site off Scotland's east coast to take the unusual step of dipping into its so-called cushion or base gas.
National Grid data showed Rough had just 10 million cubic metres (mcm) of normal supply available Thursday, yet has since 'nominated' or contracted to pump 21 mcm into Britain's gas network, which traders said indicated it was eating into its cushion gas.
Britain uses around 300 mcm of gas per day at this time of year, taking supply from North Sea pipelines, interconnectors from Belgium and the Netherlands, storage and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Tanker deliveries of LNG to Britain in recent weeks have helped compensate for its dwindling gas in storage and bring spot gas prices back off sharp spikes hit last month.
"There is potentially an additional 1.1 TWh (terawatt hours) (100 million cubic metres) that could be produced from the Rough reservoir below this opening stock level... The opening stock published by National Grid may ultimately be at -1 TWh)," Rough operator Centrica said in a regulatory update on Friday.
Centrica said that use of the extra gas would be dependent upon technical performance, operational requirements and customer nominations (orders for gas).
"The use of cushion gas by a storage site is exceptional but the operators are probably factoring in expected milder temperatures, meaning that injections over the next few days will top up supplies so that we quickly return to a situation where there is normal supply of gas," one gas trader said.
Rough has a capacity of 2.8 billion cubic metres or approximately 70 percent of Britain's total gas storage capacity. It can supply 10 percent of the country's peak demand.
British prices for gas for within-day delivery traded at 81 pence on Friday, down 1.75 pence on the previous close, while the day-ahead contract was down 0.7 pence at 81.30p.
British natural gas prices for prompt delivery rose to near seven-year highs last month hit by freezing weather, outages from North Sea fields and infrequent deliveries of LNG.
The price spike and dwindling inventories of gas, which accounts for around a third of Britain's electricity generation, raised questions about whether the country has adequate storage.
Britain's storage sites were only around 5 percent full by Thursday, with just 235 mcm left, data from Gas Infrastructure Europe showed.
That left the market with reserves of little more than half a day's worth of gas consumption in case of a major supply outage.
Gas traders said next week a planned strike by workers on Norway's offshore gas fields could hurt gas flows to Britain.
Supply could also be impacted by unplanned outages because of technical problems that are a regular occurrence in the vast network of gas platforms and pipelines that crisscross the North Sea.
However forecasted milder weather and two deliveries of LNG to Britain due next week could take pressure off prices, traders said.
More than 9,000 new companies established in January, according to major business body
Company reaches settlement with EPA following investigation started in 2014
BIST 100 rises 0.51 percent; USD/TRY exchange rate drops to 3.7660
The European aircraft maker said in a statement that net profit nearly tripled to 2.87 billion euros ($3.6 billion) in 2017 from 995 million euros a year earlier.
BIST 100 rises 1.05 percent; USD/TRY exchange rate drops to 3.7820
Saudi Aramco's crude output in March will be 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) below its February level while exports will be kept below seven million bpd, the energy ministry said.
Turkish Central Bank says annual deficit rose to $47.1B in 2017
The figure follows up growth of 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, 0.6 percent in the second, and 0.7 percent in the third -- all adjusted for price, seasonal and calendar effects.
BIST 100 rises 0.73 percent; USD/TRY exchange rate drops to 3.8040
Consumer Prices Index 12-month rate at 3 percent in January 2018, unchanged from December 2017
BIST 100 rises 0.43 percent, while USD/TRY exchange rate drops to 3.7980
Turkey has produced over 1.1 million tons red meat in 2017, TurkStat says
BIST 100 rises 0.88 pct; USD/TRY exchange rate falls to 3.80 while EUR/TRY exchange rate stays at 4.68
Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that this week struck a deal to reform Germany's so-called grand coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Germany "doesn't need to dictate to other European states how they run themselves".
Dow and S&P 500 fall 5.2 percent, largest weekly percentage drop since January 2016