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Canadian Natural Gas Declines on Warmer-Than-Normal U.S. Weather

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian natural gas was little changed amid warmer-than-normal U.S. temperatures that have pared demand for furnace fuels.

Alberta gas fell 0.25 cent. Chicago may have a high tomorrow of 74 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius), 25 above average, according to State College, Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather Inc. Temperature-related demand for gas trailed normal by as much as 30 percent over the winter, said energy analyst Stephen Smith.

“The week we’re in is about 50 percent below normal,” said Smith, president of Stephen Smith Energy Associates in Natchez, Mississippi.

Alberta gas for April delivery traded for $1.83 a gigajoule ($1.74 per million British thermal units) as of 12:10 p.m. New York time on NGX, a Canadian Internet market. NGX gas is down 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 0.1 cent to $2.334 per million Btu at 12:17 p.m.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16.7 billion cubic feet, 76 million below target.

Pipeline Flows

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 1.88 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 2.25 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 896 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.76 billion cubic feet today, or 66 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 3.05 billion cubic feet at 11:05 a.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at glaverty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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