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Dutch imports of Norwegian gas rise to eight-year high over weekend

Dutch receipts of Norwegian natural gas rose to at least an eight-year highover the weekend as lower indigenous production pushed spot prices on the TTFto a premium to neighboring German hubs.

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Dutch imports of Norwegian natural gas averaged 83.79 million cu m/d overApril 14-15, the highest in S&P Global Platts records that go back to 2010,bouncing back from just 19.57 million cu m Wednesday, and after averaging63.05 million cu m/d April 1-13.

Dutch production dropped to just 54.24 million cu m/d Sunday, from above 100million cu m/d at the start of the month.

Strengthening flows from Norway were encouraged by TTF day-ahead valuessignificantly above the levels seen over the previous years, with the contractaveraging Eur19.503/MWh April 1-13, compared to just Eur15.867/MWh during thesame period in gas year 2016-17 and just Eur11.311/MWh in gas year 2015-16,according to Platts data.

Meanwhile, Norwegian flows to Germany eased further, averaging 39.64 millioncu m/d over the weekend compared with 58.04 million cu m over April 1-13, withTTF spot prices maintaining a premium to the German GASPOOL hub, whichaveraged Eur19.047/MWh over April 1-13.

More broadly, a mixture of factors kept the spot pricing across European hubsstrong, including outages on the Norwegian Continental shelf and continuingmaintenance at Libya's Mellitah gas complex, which reduced flows to Italy.

Norwegian outages have mainly been impacting flows to the UK, which were seenat 65.7 million cu m/d at around 1600 BST Monday, down from 75 million cu mSunday and 114 million cu m last Wednesday. Flows to Dutch/German border stoodat 124 million cu m Monday afternoon, compared with 120 million cu m seenSunday.

Flows from Northwest Europe to Italy via Passo Gries have jumped to average35.17 million cu m/d so far this month after the Mellitah maintenance startedon April 2, compared to an average of 7.72 million cu m/d in March.

Italy's PSV was maintaining a strong premium over the TTF Monday afternoon,with the two contracts heard trading at Eur22.75/MWh and Eur19.875/MWhrespectively.

However, some pressure could be on the way for TTF spot as temperatures overAmsterdam are due to rise as high as 8 C above the seasonal average Thursday,from 2 C above average Monday while the Mellitah maintenance is expected to becompleted by Wednesday.

--Ornela Figurinaite, ornela.figurinaite@spglobal.com

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@spglobal.com