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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spot Gas Trade Deal Delayed

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The launch of a European spot gas trading contract has been delayed by more than a month until at least September, according to Belgium's Distrigas, which is responsible for drafting the accords.

But a Distrigas spokeswoman stressed Monday that the six firms involved in the project remained confident that the contract would be up and running by Oct. 1.

"We decided that we were up against a very tight working schedule, so the working group will continue meeting in August," the spokeswoman said.

The contract will set standard terms for spot gas trading at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, which now has the capacity to handle 40 billion cubic meters of gas, or 11 percent of annual European Union gas consumption.

The group working on the so-called Zeebrugge Natural Gas Trading Agreement includes representatives from U.S. energy companies Enron and Mobil, Gaz de France and Germany's Ruhrgas AG, plus BP Amoco and Distrigas.