UK Energy Market Update
During November, EU gas storage remained high compared to historical levels. We started the month with 99% full, but due to the cold snap near the end of the month, withdrawals were inevitable. EU gas storage ended the month at 97% full. Centrica stated on the 29th that it had released some stored gas from Rough for the first time this winter. Rough is the UK's biggest gas storage, accounting for half of total UK gas storage.
US energy giant Chevron has officially announced the resumption of supply from Israel’s Tamar gas field, the news comes after operations at the field were suspended following escalating conflict in the region. Gas flows to Egypt are now back to pre-conflict levels.
There were several unplanned outages at Norwegian gas fields this month, including the Oseberg and Nyhamna fields due to compressor failures and the Hansteen field. These outages had little effect on prices as they were resolved relatively quickly, and Norwegian flows remained strong throughout the majority of the month.
The European Commission proposed that emergency measures introduced last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should be extended by another 12 months, this includes the Market Correction Mechanism, an instrument designed to artificially limit energy prices in the event of excessive price spikes. They also announced gas storage filling targets that member states will be required to reach in 2024, in order to meet 90% full stocks by the 1st of November. In a statement, the Commission said this was the minimum threshold needed to ensure gas security for winter.
The European Parliament has endorsed a resolution that will close EU markets and ban the transit of Russian oil and LNG exports through EU territory. The resolution also aims to impose volume restrictions on Russian fertilizers and prohibit the cutting of diamonds of Russian origin.
An increasing amount of LNG operators are deciding to route vessels on a 2 week longer route to avoid using the Panama Canal in Central America. This comes amid low water levels which have prompted authorities to limit the number of vessels traveling through the narrow waterways. This pushes the Asian gas premium to attract LNG cargoes higher, meaning more certainty of LNG supply for Europe.
From January to October, Russian LNG exports to China increased by approximately 7 million tonnes, marking a growth of about 40% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that North America's LNG export capacity will more than double by 2027. With ten projects underway in the US, Canada, and Mexico, the export capacity could reach over 24 billion cubic feet per day.
Ten European countries have committed military ships and aircraft for a dedicated security plan to protect infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. This initiative comes in response to the destruction of the Nord Stream and Balticconnector pipelines and concerns about potential harm to crucial gas, electricity, and telecommunications lines in Northern Europe.
Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS)
This scheme replaced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme on 1st April and provides 85% less support than before. The maximum discounts for electricity and gas will be 1.961 and 0.697 p/kWh respectively which will automatically be applied to eligible business bills.
Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETII)
Eligible businesses had until the 25th of July to apply.
Net Zero News
The UK Government has promised to give £140 million to help developing countries achieve net-zero emissions and boost their economies. This money will assist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in expanding access to affordable energy and establishing clean energy goals.
After getting rid of the Triads, the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) allows organizations to make money by reducing their electricity usage when demand is highest.
During COP28, the UK, US, and UAE promised money for a loss and damage fund helping countries facing climate-related disasters. The UK will give £60 million, the US offered £13.8 million, and the UAE pledged £79 million to the fund.
During COP28, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted the importance of nuclear power in tackling climate change. The statement, backed by many countries, shows widespread global interest in the potential of nuclear power.
New rules aim to reduce delays for homeowners and businesses installing rooftop solar panels, supporting the government's net zero goals. The changes to permitted development rights will simplify the process, enabling more properties to install solar panels without dealing with extensive planning procedures.
Electricity and Gas Prices
Volatility remains in the energy markets but this month prices remained fairly stable. The cold snap experienced near the end of the month didn’t have the impact expected on prices, in fact it had no impact at all except to draw a little gas out of the UK’s storage. Plentiful LNG shipments, strong fundamentals and high gas storage levels have helped the bearish sentiment this month. Day ahead prices have been the most volatile this month, ranging from lows of £62.46 £/MWh to highs of 141.80 £/MWh.
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 currently is 9.68 p/kWh (commodity). With the non-commodity added to this, the overall rate will be around 22.58 p/kWh+.
UK carbon prices reached a record low as mild and windy weather reduces demand for the permits from gas-fired power plants, and traders try to gauge the impact of possible market reforms. The permits are required by industrial ventures and gas-fired power plants to emit carbon. More power from wind turbines, hydro plants and imports has meant there has been less demand for the licenses from gas plants.
1st - Brent crude oil is now trading at $85.45. US crude reserves went up by almost 1.3 million barrels, more than investors expected. Also, recent Chinese data reveals a significant decrease in manufacturing activity in October, reducing demand from the world's leading oil importer.
3rd - Oil prices are staying stable, currently at $86.91. The Middle East conflict's impact on supply is easing, and China's demand is holding steady despite a drop in manufacturing activity in October. Saudi Arabia plans to reduce oil production by approximately one million barrels per day until December.
6th - Oil prices are increasing due to Russia and Saudi Arabia cutting production. Russia plans to maintain a 300,000 barrels per day reduction until December's end. Additionally, Saudi Arabia announced it will cut output by about a million barrels per day in December.
10th - Oil prices are holding steady at $80.5. Concerns about supply have eased since the Israel-Hamas situation has somewhat calmed. Also, recent weak data from China suggests a decrease in demand, with China requesting lower oil imports from Saudi Arabia in December.
16th - Brent crude oil prices dropped today due to high US supply and lower demand from China. Record US production led to a 3.6 million barrel increase in crude stocks this week, and there are indications of reduced demand from Chinese refineries.
17th - Brent crude oil prices are down, currently at $78.02, as recent data indicates reduced consumption in the US. Prices have fallen by 17.4% in the last two months, dropping from about $94.43.
20th - Today, Brent crude oil prices rose to $80.95. After dropping around 20% since September, OPEC+ is discussing the possibility of additional output cuts, which could be decided at its upcoming meeting.
24th - Brent crude oil has rebounded, climbing to $81.20 per barrel after two days of losses. The market is optimistic as OPEC is expected to announce an extension of supply cuts into 2024. However, despite this positive trend, last week saw crude stocks rise by around 8.7 million barrels, significantly surpassing the predicted increase of 1.2 million barrels.
27th - Brent crude oil prices are falling this morning as investors anticipate the upcoming OPEC meeting. Despite the possibility of OPEC extending cutbacks until 2024, the International Energy Agency predicts a surplus in global oil supply in 2024.
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