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Canadian Natural Gas Rises as Heat in U.S. Midwest Boosts Demand

Canadian natural gas rose as heat in the U.S. Midwest boosts air-conditioner use and demand for gas-fired power generation.

Temperatures in Chicago will reach 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius) tomorrow, 14 degrees above normal, according to State College, Pennsylvania-based forecaster AccuWeather Inc. U.S. nuclear power output fell to a 12-year low last week on reactor shutdowns, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data. Gas-fuelled generator use had increased to fill the gap.

“The nukes are starting to come back on line,” said Martin King, senior commodities analyst with FirstEnergy Capital Corp. in Calgary. Power plants that had been down for seasonal maintenance will probably be available by next week, he said.

Alberta gas for June delivery rose 2.5 cents to C$3.48 per gigajoule ($3.43 per million British thermal units) as of 2:45 p.m. New York time, according to NGX, a Canadian Internet market. Gas traded on the exchange goes to users in Canada and the U.S. and is priced on TransCanada Corp.’s Alberta system.

Natural gas for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 6.5 cents to settle at $4.181 per million Btu.

Gas at the Alliance Pipeline delivery point near Chicago rose 2.5 cents to $4.2635 per million British thermal units on the Intercontinental Exchange. Alliance is an express line that can carry 1.5 billion cubic feet a day to the Midwest from western Canada.

Price at Idaho

At the Kingsgate point on the border of Idaho and British Columbia, gas gained 2.77 cents to $3.9779 per million Btu, according to ICE. At Malin, Oregon, where Canadian gas is traded for California markets, gas was up 3.38 cents to $4.1006.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16 billion cubic feet as of 1 p.m. in New York, 60 million below its target level.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 2.66 billion cubic feet at Empress, Alberta, where the fuel is transferred to TransCanada’s main line.

At McNeil, Saskatchewan, where gas is transferred to the Northern Border Pipeline for shipment to the Chicago area, the daily flow rate was 1.9 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 1.34 billion cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.56 billion cubic feet today, about 54 percent of its capacity of 2.9 billion.

The volume on Spectra Energy’s British Columbia system, which gathers the fuel in northeastern British Columbia for delivery to Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest, totaled 2.79 billion cubic feet at 12:50 p.m.

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