Energy Market Risk Analysis | Mid December 2017

Prices spike on gas disruptions

UK power prices were propelled higher on the 11th and 12th of December as a cocktail of gas supply issues – including an explosion at a key gas hub in Austria and the sudden shutdown of a major North Sea oil and gas pipeline network following the discovery of a crack – caused gas prices to spike.

Day-ahead UK power rose to £62/MWh, Month-ahead (January) rallied £9/MWh at one stage to break above £65/MWh, and Q1’18 nearly reached £62/MWh too, their highest levels since the peak of the French nuclear crisis in November 2016.

A crack, an explosion, a spike, a slump

UK gas prices across the remainder of this winter spiked this week to their highest levels since 2013, as a key oil and gas pipeline system in the North Sea was shut for emergency repair work following the discovery of a crack and an explosion at central Europe’s main gas trading hub ─ Baumgarten in Austria ─ further threatened supplies.

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