top of page

Prices Continue Their Steady Climb

UK Energy Market Update

May 2024

Market Summary

May saw injections into EU gas storage continue at a relatively good rate, averaging approximately 0.26% per day. The month ended with storage at just under 70% full, a massive 19 percentage points above the 10-year rolling average. The EU reached its goal of filling storage to 90% by August 18th last year, almost 11 weeks ahead of the November 1st deadline. Current levels suggest the bloc is following a similar pattern this year and could be on track to fill up reserves well-ahead of time once again.


This month saw the beginning of Norway’s essential summer maintenance programme, meaning there were several planned outages at Norwegian gas facilities. This included planned maintenance at facilities such as Aasta Hansteen, St. Fergus, Kollsnes, Troll, Karsto & Dvalin. This coupled with unplanned outages at Dvalin & Troll significantly affected supply into the UK and mainland Europe, having a bullish effect on the market. Planned maintenance across the Norwegian continental shelf will continue through the summer, but with a significantly lighter schedule than previous years.


Norway’s state-owned operator Equinor have stated that funding has been approved to upgrade aging infrastructure and add 8 new wells to the Troll gas field, which is already the largest in Europe, as Norway continues to consolidate its role as the predominant producer in the region.


Low levels of inbound LNG into Britain and the EU continued through May. The main factor behind this decline is increased competition from Asia as well as more favourable EAX LNG (East Asia Index) prices. The EU proposed plans to sanction the Russian LNG industry. This proposal failed to pass after being vetoed by Hungary, who is still very much reliant on Russia for the bulk of its gas imports. Sweden has said it is willing to stop importing Russian LNG even without financial help from the EU. New measures approved enable member states to voluntarily block Russian gas imports by sea.


A court ruling between Gazprom and an unnamed company could stop some of the last Russian gas exports to the west, long after most Russian pipelines were halted in 2022. The ruling might prevent Austrian companies from paying Gazprom. Austrian operator OMV warned on Wednesday that this could halt nearly all of Austria's pipeline exports, potentially affecting European gas storage injections before winter.


Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure have continued. Ukraine’s energy minister, German Galushchenko, confirmed that 8GW of capacity has been bombed and destroyed in Russian attacks but reassured that rebuilding has started. Ukraine responded by carrying out strikes on Russian oil infrastructure. Two large and important refineries, Volgograd and the other in Krasnodar, were taken offline after experiencing fires as a result of Ukrainian drone strikes.


The UK government has dropped experimental plans in Whitby and Redcar to explore hydrogen as a gas substitute. Rishi Sunak faces criticism from climate advisors for allegedly easing the UK's green agenda last year, but he insists that the country is exceeding its green goals and can afford to slow down.

Net Zero News

A report by consultancy Wood Mackenzie showed that a five-year delay in decarbonization efforts could raise global temperatures to 3°C above pre-industrial levels and reduce global average spending by 55%.


Britain is investing nearly £200 million ($251.14 million) to build Europe’s first facility for producing high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU), a fuel needed for future nuclear energy projects.


European Union governments approved a new law to ensure the bloc produces 40% of its solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, and other clean tech equipment, helping European industry compete with the U.S. and China.


According to a new survey, nearly 96% of businesses are urging the next government to prioritize increased support, including financial incentives to meet net zero targets.


Decarbonizing the global maritime industry could create up to four million green jobs by 2050. Shipping, which contributes 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions, is under pressure to switch to zero-emission fuels like hydrogen-based e-fuels, in line with the International Maritime Organization’s goal to end fossil fuel use by 2050.


British EV drivers pay the highest rates for high-power charging, with new data showing they spend 74% more than drivers in France and Norway.


A PAC report finds that the high cost of heat pumps is a major barrier to their widespread adoption in the UK.


North Sea oil drilling will continue for years beyond Britain’s net zero deadline, with officials approving 31 new licenses for oil and gas exploration. These licenses, given to fossil fuel companies, are expected to extend production until around 2060, about two decades longer than previously estimated.


Britain's latest climate action plan is unlawful because ministers were not informed of the risk that key policies might fail, London's High Court ruled. This ruling presents another challenge for Britain in its journey toward net zero. The court found that the carbon budgets set by the government in 2023 to meet the UK's 2050 net zero target were established without evidence of their achievability. As a result, Britain will need to submit a new plan for the second time.

Electricity and Gas Prices

Prices continued their slow climb through May from the low point we saw around early March. Geo-political factors impacted this as usual, with Nordic summer maintenance having quite a large effect this month. Low levels of inbound LNG didn’t have much of impact due to very healthy EU gas storage. Day ahead prices continue to be extremely volatile.

UK Energy Market Predictions

Electricity and Gas Price Predictions

Flexible Purchasing

EPEX Price

Some of our flexible purchasing customers are buying on EPEX, a European auction for power. Because they auction every hour of each day, customers get the “market average” price as opposed to a fixed-term contract over e.g. a 12-month period. Being on this product means that you will pay the average of each day for the month and once the market falls the price will follow.


The EPEX price finished the month with an average of 7.28 p/kWh (commodity). With the non-commodity added to this, the overall rate will be around 18.18 p/kWh+.

Carbon Prices

Carbon prices

European carbon (EUA) rallied for the third consecutive month, gaining circa 8%. The EUA price closed the month up circa 43% from the February lows. Geopolitical risks eased somewhat in May, as tensions between Israel and Iran appeared to de-escalate. The fundamentals of EUA prices remain sluggish. Power demand is low, and the generation mix leans heavily towards clean sources, while the remaining residual thermal generation that is required is predominantly delivered by cheap gas.

Oil Market

Oil market prices

1st - After a surge in US crude oil production, hitting 13.2 million barrels per day in February, marking the highest monthly increase in nearly three years, oil prices have dropped for the third consecutive day. Additionally, growing confidence in a ceasefire in the Middle East might have played a part in the price decrease.


9th - Brent crude oil prices rose as the US reduced oil from their inventories, with storage levels dropping by 1.4 million barrels to 459.5 million barrels. Additionally, oil demand in China increased, with 44.7 million metric tons imported in April, marking a 5.5% rise from last year.


16th - Prices rose nearly 1% due to positive U.S. economic data and a bigger-than-expected crude drawdown. Brent closed at $82.75/barrel.


20th - This morning, oil prices have climbed, with crude trading at $84.02. Market uncertainty has increased due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, where tensions remain high in major oil-producing countries following the recent death of Iran’s president. Conversely, China's oil imports have surged to their highest levels since 2020, with Russia remaining their top supplier, reflecting robust Asian demand.


23rd - Oil prices have been kept low by rising interest rates and increasing US inventories, which have risen by 1.8 million barrels.


30th - Prices eased about 1% on concerns over weak U.S. gasoline demand and economic data suggesting the U.S. Federal Reserve might keep interest rates higher for longer. Brent fell to $83.60/barrel.

Get in Touch

Our team are independent energy advisors who provide competitive gas, electricity, and water prices for commercial businesses across the region.


Our complete energy management service also includes helping businesses to identify potential savings through energy audits, tax levy rebates and grant funding. We can also help you plan for Net Zero and achieve compliance with our in-house ESOS assessment service.

Contact us for a free initial consultation about your business energy.

0114 327 2645

Professional Energy People logo


bottom of page