Bloomberg News

Canadian Natural Gas Gains as Stockpile Drop Exceeds Estimates

February 03, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian natural gas rose after a government report showed that U.S. inventories fell more than analysts expected.

Alberta gas gained 3.7 percent. U.S. stockpiles decreased 132 billion cubic feet to 2.966 trillion last week, the Energy Department said today. Inventories had been expected to fall 129 billion, the median of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“It was a surprise to some,” said Eric Bickel, a natural gas analyst at Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky, who had estimated a decline of 135 billion cubic feet. “It’s giving the market some hope that there’s demand out there.”

Alberta gas for March delivery rose 7.25 cents to C$2.45 a gigajoule ($2.32 per million British thermal units) at 12:10 p.m. New York time on NGX, a Canadian Internet market. NGX gas has lost 41 percent this year.

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 March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 8.1 cents to $2.47 per million Btu.

Volume on TransCanada’s Alberta system, which collects the output of most of the nation’s gas wells, was 16.8 billion cubic feet, 27 million below target.

Gas was flowing at a daily rate of 2.46 billion cubic feet at Empress, Alberta. The fuel is transferred to TransCanada’s main line at Empress.

At McNeil, Saskatchewan, where gas is transferred to the Northern Border Pipeline for shipment to the Chicago area, the daily flow rate was 2.16 billion cubic feet.

Available capacity on TransCanada’s British Columbia system at Kingsgate was 566 million cubic feet. The system was forecast to carry 1.88 billion cubic feet today, or 77 percent of its capacity of 2.44 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 3.03 billion cubic feet at 11:05 a.m.

--Editors: Bill Banker, Charlotte Porter

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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