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

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian natural gas rose as warmer-than-normal weather in the U.S. boosted demand for electricity to run air conditioners.

Alberta gas advanced 0.7 percent. Atlanta may have a high temperature tomorrow of 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius), 7 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. Dallas’s high may be 84 degrees, 13 above normal, the State College, Pennsylvania-based forecaster said.

“There’s some cooling demand coming pretty soon with the heat,” said Eric Bickel, a natural gas analyst with Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky. “Demand for power is remaining robust and gas is at a good price for buyers.”

Alberta gas for April delivery rose 1.25 cents to $1.82 a gigajoule ($1.73 per million British thermal units) as of 2:45 p.m. New York time on NGX, a Canadian Internet market. NGX gas is down 1.1 percent this week.

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 rose 0.6 cent to settle at $2.275 per million Btu.

Spot gas at the Alliance delivery point near Chicago tumbled 13.51 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $1.9913 per million Btu on the Intercontinental Exchange amid forecasts temperatures will moderate in the Midwest, trimming electricity demand. Alliance is an express line that can carry 1.5 billion cubic feet a day from western Canada.

Chicago’s high will be 56 Fahrenheit March 26, 5 degrees higher than normal, according to AccuWeather. Temperatures in the Midwest’s biggest city touched 84 Fahrenheit yesterday.

Spot Prices

At the Kingsgate point on the border of Idaho and British Columbia, gas declined 15 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $2.0253 per million Btu. At Malin, Oregon, where Canadian gas is traded for California markets, gas was down 14.57 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $2.0847.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16.8 billion cubic feet, 4 million below target.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 1.76 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 2.2 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 1.04 billion cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.61 billion cubic feet today, or 61 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 3.08 billion cubic feet at 2:20 p.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