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EUROPE GAS-Prices little changed as market seeks new impetus

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Dutch and British wholesale gas prices traded mostly sideways on Tuesday morning as the market awaits the return of Norwegian fields from maintenance and amid a lack of news on strikes at Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

The Dutch October contract was up by 0.37 euros at 34.40 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0806 GMT while the November contract was 0.65 euros lower at 42.60 euros/MWh, according to LSEG data.

The British October contract rose by 0.35 pence to 87.00 pence per therm, while the day-ahead contract was unchanged at 85.50 p/therm.

"Although there is currently no clear price trend, higher futures prices than spot prices for both European and US prices indicate that gas buyers are expecting a potential uptick from the current price range in the coming months," analyst Andre Nikolai Nilsen at Rystad Energy said in a market update.

European prices are muted in the near term on well-filled gas storages and the expected end of a heavy maintenance period at Norwegian gas infrastructure, he added.

European gas storage sites monitored by Gas Infrastructure Europe were last seen 94.15% full.

Norwegian flows are nominated lower at 168 million cubic metres (mcm) from 177 mcm on Monday, driven by an outage at the Oseberg field.

Flows are expected to recover by around 70 mcm on Wednesday, when the giant Troll field is scheduled to ramp up after maintenance.

Meanwhile, strike action at Chevron's Australian LNG export facilities continues to hang over the market, Daniel Hynes, Senior Commodity Strategist at ANZ Bank said in daily comment.

"Disruptions from the industrial action have been limited so far, but the longer the strike goes the greater the prospect of an impact on output," he added.

Chevron has said it is maintaining supplies even as workers escalated strike action to 24-hour stoppages over the weekend.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract was down 0.20 euro at 80.64 euros a tonne.

(Reporting by Nora Buli, Editing by Susanna Twidale)