Canada Natural Gas Rises Amid Speculation of Lower Supply Gain

Canadian natural gas rose on speculation that U.S. supplies will show a below-average gain last week because of Gulf of Mexico production shutdowns in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

October gas in Alberta climbed 3.2 percent. The Energy Department may report tomorrow that U.S. stockpiles expanded by 26 billion cubic feet, below the five-year average gain of 72 billion, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. As much as 73 percent of Gulf gas output was shut because of Isaac, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

Alberta gas for October delivery gained 7.75 cents to C$2.50 per gigajoule ($2.43 per million British thermal units) as of 4:15 p.m. New York time on NGX, a Canadian Internet market. 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 October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 7.1 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $3.063 per million Btu, the highest settlement price since Aug. 1. The futures have rallied 14 percent this week and are up 2.5 percent this year.

“It has a lot to do with the expectation of a below-average storage number on Thursday,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research with IAF Advisors in Houston. “Production from Isaac is returning much slower than expected, but there doesn’t seem to be long-term infrastructure damage.”

Lost Output

Isaac, a Category 1 hurricane, made final landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29. Gas production lost as offshore platforms and rigs were evacuated totaled 27.9 billion cubic feet through Sept. 10, the Energy Department said yesterday in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook.

U.S. gas inventories ended the week of Aug. 31 at 10.7 percent above the five-year average for the week, down from 12 percent the previous week, department data show.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 15.7 billion cubic feet at 3 p.m. New York time.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 1.96 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 2.09 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 169 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.85 billion cubic feet today. Estimated capacity was 2.02 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 2.78 billion cubic feet at 3:20 p.m.

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