Monday 28 May 2018

Irish wholesale gas prices down 37pc in May

Wholesale gas prices remain low. Photo: PA
Wholesale gas prices remain low. Photo: PA
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Irish wholesale gas prices have fallen by 37pc year on year in May despite a small rebound over the last month, a new report has shown.

According to Vayu Energy's Wholesale Energy Market Report, the collapse in wholesale prices is due to ongoing oversupply matched with reduced demabnd.

Electricity prices in Ireland also fell significantly, down 30pc. Vayu said that 23pc of total electricity demand in Ireland is being met by wind energy so far this year.

The average day-ahead price for gas – the contract for gas delivery for tomorrow – is 1.31 c/kWh (cents per kilowatt hour) so far in May, close to a six-year low. This compares with average prices of 2.08 c/kWh in May 2015 and of 1.27 c/kWh last month.

Vayu senior energy analyst Joanne Daly said that despite overall market weakness, prices increased by 3pc in May compared to April.

"While Norwegian gas production remains very strong by historic standards for this time of year, the Norwegian maintenance season is due to commence. Planned outages at a number of large gas fields could greatly reduce the flexibility of the system and contribute to price volatility. However this should be offset by continued robust supply of LNG (liquefied natural gas) from the Middle East which will help the system meet demand," Ms Daly said.

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