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Canadian Natural Gas Drops as U.S. Heating Demand Trails Normal

Canadian natural gas fell as above-normal temperatures in the U.S. pared furnace use.

Alberta gas dropped 2.6 percent. Demand for heat across the U.S. will trail normal by 17 percent through March 6, according to Belton, Missouri-based forecaster Weather Derivatives. New York’s low March 2 may be 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius), 12 above normal, AccuWeather Inc. said.

“The weather outlook continues to show bearish trends,” said Eric Bickel, a natural gas analyst with Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky. “There’s an expectation that it’s going to persist.”

Alberta gas for March delivery declined 4.75 cents to C$1.81 a gigajoule ($1.73 per million British thermal units) at 2:40 p.m. New York time on NGX, a Canadian Internet market. NGX gas has dropped 36 percent this year.

Gas traded on the exchange is shipped to users in Canada and the U.S. and priced on TransCanada Corp.’s Alberta system.

Natural gas for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 8.4 cents, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $2.519 per million Btu.

Spot gas at the Alliance delivery point near Chicago fell 13.48 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $2.5245 per million Btu on the Intercontinental Exchange. Alliance is an express line that can carry 1.5 billion cubic feet a day from western Canada.

Spot Prices

At the Kingsgate point on the border of Idaho and British Columbia, gas fell 19.48 cents, or 7.8 percent, to $2.2928. At Malin, Oregon, where Canadian gas is traded for California markets, gas was down 14.62 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $2.4403.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16.5 billion cubic feet, 254 million below target.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 2.84 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 2.16 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 691 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.96 billion cubic feet today, or 74 percent of its capacity of 2.65 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 2.97 billion cubic feet at 1:35 p.m.

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