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Canada Natural Gas Drops as Cooler Weather Reduces Power Use

Canadian natural gas declined on forecasts of cooler U.S. weather that may cut demand for the power-plant fuel.

October gas in Alberta slipped 1.8 percent as Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted mostly normal or below-normal temperatures in the eastern half of the U.S. from Sept. 17 through Sept. 26. Futures in New York rose to a six-week settlement high of $3.063 per million Btu on Sept. 12.

“The inability to maintain above the $3 level points up the market’s fundamental inherent weakness,” Mike Fitzpatrick, an editor at the Energy OverView newsletter in New York, said in a note to clients today. “Hardly surprising, with moderating temperatures forecast for the next few weeks for the high-consumption regions.”

Alberta gas for October delivery dropped 4.25 cents to C$2.31 per gigajoule ($2.24 per million British thermal units) as of 3:40 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 fell 7.8 cents, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $2.865 per million Btu. The futures have declined 4.1 percent this year.

The high in Chicago on Sept. 23 may be 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius), 12 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. The high in New York may be 70 degrees, 3 lower than the usual reading.

Pipeline Flows

Electricity producers account for about 36 percent of U.S. gas consumption, according to the Energy Department.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 15.8 billion cubic feet at 2:30 p.m. New York time.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 1.92 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 1.94 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 314 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.7 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 2.68 billion cubic feet at 2:35 p.m.

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