British wholesale gas price hits 12-year high

28 February 2018

The price of wholesale British natural gas, with immediate delivery, hit a 12-year high on Wednesday morning as reduced supply and rocketing demand shook the market.

The Within-day gas contract at the market – known as the NBP – dealt at 194 pence per therm (p/th) at the start of trade.

Plummeting temperatures driven by the “Beast from the East” pushed daily British gas demand to levels not seen in four years. The Siberian temperatures had already caused prices to rise above typically February values earlier this week.

But an unplanned shut-down at a key Norwegian gas processing plant meant prices spiralled to highs not seen since March 2006. The Kollsnes plant, run by Norway’s Gassco, is a key facility that feeds gas to Britain.

Later in the morning the Within-day price started to fall-back, but then a key import pipeline from the Netherlands called the BBL experienced technical issues that caused the NBP to bounce up, although not as high as at the open.

Prior to Wednesday’s huge spike, the Within-day price through February traded on average at 56p/th. The only time the Within-day NBP price has been higher was on 13 March 2006, when it dealt at 255p/th. Since then, it has only traded above the £1/th threshold once, on 22 March 2013.

“It’s been a roller-coaster few days already on the NBP with demand moving to levels not seen since 2012, but this morning’s prices have been on another level entirely,” said Tom Marzec-Manser, who heads up the European gas team at commodity price agency ICIS.

“Back in December when Austria’s Baumgarten facility blew-up at the same time as the Forties system breaking down, we thought we had hit the high of the winter. Then the Within-day price reached 99p/th. So in comparison, Wednesday’s prices are astonishing,”

Besides the BBL, Britain can also import gas from the European mainland via a pipeline to Belgium called the Interconnector.

“Despite the high prices we are seeing at the NBP, flows through the Interconnector are not very high at all, which has been driven by rocketing prices and demand on the continent. It’s a proper tug-of-war for any available gas across the whole of Europe,” Marzec-Manser added.

Media contacts

Tom Marzec-Manser
Editor, European Spot Gas Markets
Mobile: +44 7795 400 753
Tel: +44 20 7911 1964


ICIS is the world’s largest petrochemical market information provider, with divisions spanning energy and fertilizers. Our aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering valuable information and analytics tools which enable our customers to identify and react to opportunities in markets which are constantly evolving. We have more than 30 years’ of experience in providing pricing intelligence and news, forecast data, market analytics and independent consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.

With a global staff of more than 600, ICIS has employees based in London, Houston, New York, Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Mumbai, Tokyo, Karlsruhe, and Milan. ICIS’ team of journalists is engaged in reporting market prices and news, and ICIS is fully committed to upholding the highest journalistic principles of verification, corroboration and authentication. ICIS has a compliance framework that along with its methodologies and business processes adheres to the requirements of the IOSCO PRA Principles.

ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information, part of RELX Group.

About Reed Business Information RELX Group

Reed Business Information provides information, analytics and data to business professionals worldwide. Our strong global products and services hold market-leading positions across a wide range of industry sectors including banking, petrochemicals and aviation, where we help customers make key strategic decisions every day. RBI is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional customers across industries.

About RELX Group RELX Group

RELX Group is a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs approximately 30,000 people of whom almost half are in North America. RELX PLC is a London listed holding company which owns 52.9% of RELX Group. RELX NV is an Amsterdam listed holding company which owns 47.1% of RELX Group. The shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX and RENX. Total market capitalisation as at 28 February 2018: £29.7bn|€33.7bn|$41.4bn.


European Spot Gas Markets

The benchmark report for European natural gas

  • Establish a direct spot price reference
  • Understand developments in key natural gas hubs
  • Identify opportunities and analyse risks
  • Gain clarity on price movements
  • Make accurate price comparisons
Find out more

You may also be interested in...

Weak UK Policy on Renewable Heat Targets Keeps Gas Demand Buoyant. Read more »

European Natural Gas Outlook Read more »

Going, Going, Groningen... Read more »

Blockchain’s Impact on Energy Trading Read more »

Benchmark your position in European natural gas with ICIS indices and assessments

ICIS gas benchmark prices

Heren proprietary indices and assessments are the industry standard for European gas. Independently assessed and verified, directly from the market, these prices provide a reliable benchmark for the main gas hubs.

The British NBP and Dutch TTF natural gas prices, produced by ICIS, are referenced throughout the world and are the gas industry’s main reference for the European continent as a whole.

Our daily indices and assessments are designed to increase pricing transparency, enabling you to make accurate, timely decisions when buying and selling European natural gas.

Learn about ICIS News 


Price assessments, indices, news and analysis for the oil, gas, liquefied natural gas, carbon and coal sectors.