UK gas prices dip on better Norway export outlook


* Thursday's gas system seen balanced

* Output from Norway's Nyhamna gas field reduced

* Set to improve on Friday

* Windy Friday pulls down spot power

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - British prompt gas prices easedon Thursday morning as the system was almost balanced andsupplies from Norway were expected to improve by the end of theweek, analysts said.

Gas prices for delivery the next day were trading at 64.45pence per therm at 0800 GMT on Thursday, down 0.25 pence sinceWednesday morning, and prices for delivery within the day weretrading at 64.75 pence, down almost one pence per therm.

British gas demand was expected to be 199.2 million cubicmetres (mcm) on Thursday, around 10 percent below the seasonalnorm, according to data from National Grid.

With expected flows seen just under 198 mcm, the systemwould only be slightly undersupplied.

The tight system is a result of supply interruptions inNorway.

Output from Royal Dutch Shell's

Nyhamna gasprocessing plant in Norway will be reduced by 47 million cubicmetres per day on Thursday, gas system operator Gassco said onThursday.

The plant, which processes gas from the giant offshore OrmenLange gas field before it is shipped to Britain, has an overallcapacity of 70 mcm per day, and feeds the Langeled gas pipeline,UK's main undersea gas import route.

Analysts said they expected prices to drop further towardsthe end of the working week as Norwegian exports are set toimprove.

"Problems at Nyhamna are scheduled to be resolved bytomorrow," analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said, butadded further delays were possible and would pose an upsideprice risk.

Point Carbon also said that because there have not been anyimports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) scheduled in recent days,Britain may have to resort to withdrawals from storage.

Britain's gas storage sites were filled to an average of95.79 percent on Wednesday evening, according to data from GasInfrastructure Europe.

Further out on the curve, gas prices for delivery nextsummer briefly dropped below 61 pence per therm in the morningbut rose back to 61.15 pence, following crude oil prices up.

Front-month Brent crude prices climbed toward $115 a barrelon Thursday as rising tensions in the Middle East stoked supplyfears, keeping prices less than a dollar away from their highestin almost a month, although forecasts of lower demand cappedgains.

In the power market spot prices also dipped, with contractsfor baseload (24s) delivery the next day falling 40 pence permegawatt-hour (MWh) to 45.95 pounds a MWh.

Traders said the drop came on the back of typically lowerpower demand towards the end of the week as well as an expectedrise in wind power capacity for Friday.

The UK's MetOffice said that it expected Friday's conditionsto be "bright and breezy with sunny periods, but quite frequentsharp showers blowing in from the west," with maximumtemperatures of 15 degrees Celsius.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by James Jukwey)

((henning.gloystein@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 0 207 542 6659))

((GAS-Please click on the following for information about UK and Belgian prices, field maintenance and field start-ups.

UK natural gas prices

Belgian natural gas prices

North Sea field start-ups

North Sea field maintenance

POWERUK: baseload prices, outagesreportFRANCE: baseload prices, peakmarket report, Powernext,Spectron baseload, off peak, peaknuclear outages: report, offlinepercentage, offline capacity (MW)GERMANY: baseload prices, peakoutages, reportSWITZERLAND: outages, reservoir levelsNORDIC: report


((Xtra clients: Click on

to see Top News pages in multimedia Web format.)) ))