Investment bank Goldman Sachs said today a 14 pence price rise of NBP gas contracts for delivery between July and end-September is needed to prompt diversions of LNG cargoes from higher-yielding Asian destinations to the U.K. European power producers are advised to hedge forward gas in anticipation of rising prices.
India's gas shortage has reached alarming levels, undermining the Government's aims to boost the share of gas-to-power production. Operation of three gas-fired plants - with a combined capacity of 1,730 MW - had to be halted in India's National Capital Region (NCR) region due to a lack of gas supply to fuel the plants.
The growth pace of natural gas production in North America is set to slow down this year in reaction to low gas prices in the U.S. "More producers expect the drilling pullback in their dry gas plays to lead to a y/y [year-on-year] drop in their natural gas production," BarCap analyst Shiyang Wang said in a research note.
French investment bank Société Générale forecasts gas prices at the National Balancing Point (NBP) to turn south as the UK markets are well supplies and demand tepid. "Prices will start agreeing with fundamentals and turn south from their present levels," SocGen analysts Emmanuel Fages, Thierry Bros and Paolo Coghe said in a recent research note.
Natural gas is likely to take up a growing share in the U.K.'s energy mix, making up for any eventual capacity shortage following the withdrawal of E.ON and RWE npower from developing new nuclear capacity in the U.K under the Horizon Nuclear Venture. "Gas will fill the gap," Deutsche Bank analyst, James Brand, told Gas-to-Power Journal.
Natural gas consumption in India and China has witnessed annual growth rates of 14% and 18%, respectively, over the last five years. Inaugurating the 7th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, in New Delhi today, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh highlighted the role of gas as "an efficient fuel for power generation".
Electricity generated from gas still has an important role to play over the coming decades as the U.K. transitions to a low carbon economy, Energy and Climate Secretary, Edward Davey, said. "We can't take our foot off the gas for some time yet," he said with reference to the closure of a fifth of the UK's ageing fleet of power stations this decade.