Bloomberg News

WSI Forecasts Lower Natural Gas Heating Demand Through March

December 20, 2011

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Consumption of natural gas for heating in the first quarter may be the lowest since 2006, WSI said in its latest seasonal outlook.

Heating demand is expected to be 5.4 percent lower than a year earlier, even as below-normal temperatures blanket most of the northern and western U.S., Todd Crawford, WSI’s chief meteorologist, said in a statement.

Temperatures will be lower than normal from north of El Paso, Texas, to northern Virginia, with the coldest weather from northern Oregon to northern Wisconsin, according to WSI, based in Andover, Massachusetts.

The region from Texas to southern Virginia will see above- normal temperatures, with Florida expected to be warmest.

“Natural gas inventories are likely to experience significant draw-downs in January as a result of higher heating demand, although possibly less than in previous years,” said Paul Flemming, director of the analysis firm Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts, which works with WSI.

Milder weather will soften demand in February, he said in the statement. Colder weather may return in March, although “bullish expectations for natural gas prices may be limited.”

--Editors: David Marino, Dan Stets

To contact the reporter on this story: Charlotte Porter at cporter11@bloomberg.net

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


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