Price Assessment

UK NBP Gas Price Assessment

  • What is UK NBP?
  • How do we assess the UK NBP gas market?
  • Evolution of Platts UK NBP Price Assessments

What is UK NBP?

The UK NBP gas market is Europe's longest-established spot-traded natural gas market, in operation since the late 1990s. The price of UK NBP is widely used as an indicator for Europe's wholesale gas market alongside the more recent, but now more liquid, Dutch TTF.

NBP stands for National Balancing Point. In the NBP model gas anywhere in the country within the national transmission system counts as NBP gas. This brings buyers and sellers together to simplify trade.

The UK gas market has a wide range of gas supplies: the UK's own gas production, piped imports from Norway and Continental Europe, storage, and liquefied natural gas tanker supplies from global markets. Declining North Sea production over the past decade has seen a growing increase in the proportion of supply from imports.

The NBP gas market allows a wide range of participants to buy and sell: oil and gas producers, LNG suppliers, utility companies, power generators, industrial users and financial traders. Gas can be traded over-the-counter between participants and through brokers, or on exchanges.

A variety of delivery periods are traded in the market, including: within-day (for same day delivery), day-ahead (for next day delivery), months, quarters, summers (April to September) and winters (October to March) and annual contracts.

How do we assess the UK NBP gas market?

Our UK NBP gas pricing assessments reflect the transactable value of a range of wholesale gas contracts at the end of each trading day, based on market information available to S&P Global Commodity Insights. Our Natural Gas Price Assessments are published on European Power Alert, in European Gas Daily and available as Platts Market Price Data.

Evolution of Platts UK NBP Price Assessments

Between the early 1990s and early 2010s the UK NBP gas market saw growth in both liquidity and transparency, as well as an increasing link to Continental and global natural gas markets.

In 1998 the start-up of the UK-Belgium Interconnector pipeline allowed gas flows between the UK and Continental Europe in both directions, joining the UK with a Continental European market importing gas on long-term, oil-indexed supply contracts.

Further pipeline links came with the opening of the BBL pipeline from the Netherlands to the UK in late 2006, and the Norwegian Langeled pipeline to the UK during 2006-07.

The Grain LNG terminal opened in Kent in 2005, followed by the South Hook and Dragon LNG terminals in southwest Wales in 2009, allowing imports of LNG from global suppliers such as Qatar.

As the Continental European gas market has liberalized, spot trading hubs on the Continent have also increased in number and liquidity. Platts assessments by S&P Global Commodity Insights of natural gas price coverage includes the Dutch TTF, Belgian Zeebrugge Beach, German GASPOOL and NetConnect Germany, French PEG, Italian PSV, Spanish PVB, and Austrian VTP.