Bloomberg News

Canadian Gas Gains as U.S. Inventory Decline Exceeds Estimates

December 16, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian natural gas rose as U.S. inventories declined more than analysts estimated.

Alberta gas gained 0.9 percent after the Energy Department reported stockpiles of the fuel fell 102 billion cubic feet last week. Inventories had been expected to drop 92 billion, the median of 25 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“We usually see a bump when the withdrawal is 10 billion cubic feet or more off expectations,” said Eric Bickel, a natural gas analyst at Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky. “There’s still a whole lot of gas in storage.”

Alberta gas for January delivery gained 2.75 cents to C$2.96 a gigajoule ($2.71 per million British thermal units) as of 11:20 a.m. New York time, according to 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. NGX Alberta gas has slipped 20 percent this year.

Gas for January delivery rose 3.2 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.168 per million Btu as of 11:27 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16.7 billion cubic feet, 161 million below its target.

Gas Flows

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 2.55 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 1.87 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 619 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 2.03 billion cubic feet today, about 77 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 2.92 billion cubic feet at 10:20 a.m.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker

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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