Energy Saving

Seizing opportunities in the gas market

Posted on 07 March 2019
By Ben Spry
Ben Spry
Head of Risk Management

Ben manages the operational delivery of our risk management services, including the award-winning Optimisation Desk and its new suite of Demand Side Response products.

It’s nice to have some good news for a change. With so much volatility in the markets of late – and indeed in many aspects of our lives currently – we are seeing gas prices become more stable as a result of a range of positive drivers.

For starters, we’ve had an uncharacteristically mild February, with the warmest ever winter day recorded on 26 February (21.2˚C in London’s Kew Gardens).

Due to a cold start to the month and some cold nights at the end, overall it ranked as the second mildest February since records began.

While this has eased pressure in the gas markets, prices have been falling for a while due to a milder winter overall – and not just in the UK, but in Asia too.

 

Reduced global competition

In previous years, competition for gas tankers has seen the UK lose out to high Asian demand.

But due to Asia stockpiling gas early in the season, and then not needing so much, we’ve seen more gas tankers dock on UK shores – 50 more in fact than winter 2017/18.

Modifications to the South Hook cargo terminal have increased our ability to welcome ships from countries other than Qatar – for example, the US, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago – therefore having a wider choice of suppliers.

 

Prices fallen by a third

As a result, gas prices have been steadily falling since 1 October. Summer 19 contracts are now trading around a third lower – for example, at 43.90p per therm on 5 March 2019 compared to 66.4p/th on 25 September 2018.

 

Going forward, the impact of Brexit – in whatever form that takes – and the value of the pound, plus events in the oil market and around the world, will have a bearing on gas prices – and indeed across all markets.

So deciding the best time to buy – and how much – will require a clear and robust strategy.

That’s why so many customers find the market intelligence, analysis and briefings from our Optimisation Desk so invaluable.

 

Streamline and save time

For customers buying gas via flexible contract, we offer the full support of a dedicated Client Portfolio Manager to help you manage your risk management and purchasing strategy.

You’ll also have access to a range of market intelligence and bespoke reports – plus the ability to track your position 24/7 – via our online Risk Navigator tool.

Existing customers who use the Optimisation Desk to purchase both gas and power tell us that the ease of having just one contact greatly streamlines the process and saves valuable time.

And from an energy management perspective, linking your gas and electricity together into one energy management system, like our Intelligent Analytics package, makes it much easier to keep track of consumption and maximise efficiencies.

To find out more about the gas-related services we offer to both direct customers and also energy consultants, contact your Client Lead (for existing customers) or email us via nBS@npower.com

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