U.S. Natural Gas Shipments Drop on Cooler Forecast for the West

2011-6-1

Scheduled natural gas deliveries to U.S. electricity generators slipped for the first time in three days as meteorologists forecast cooler weather in the West that may limit air-conditioner use.

A sample of scheduled deliveries to power plants in the U.S. and Canada shows shipments declined 9 percent to 15.1 million dekatherms (14.7 billion cubic feet), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments to power generators in Texas fell 48 percent after gaining about 12 percent yesterday.

Cooling demand in San Francisco and Los Angeles will be less than 15 percent of normal until at least June 3, according to Belton, Missouri-based forecaster Weather Derivatives. Power plants use 30 percent of U.S. gas supplies.

“Across the West, the forecast has trended cooler, with ‘belows’ expected to linger across California,” according to MDA EarthSat Weather of Gaithersburg, Maryland. The high in Burbank, California, is forecast to reach 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius) today, falling to 70 tomorrow.

Scheduled shipments for U.S. residences fell 23.6 percent to 21.2 million dekatherms after a 0.3 percent gain yesterday.

Wholesale gas at the SoCal Border hub, where gas is delivered to the Southern California Gas Co., gained 42.78 cents, or 10 percent, to $4.5589 per million British thermal units as of 2:49 p.m. New York time on the Intercontinental Exchange.

Gas at the Henry Hub in Erath, Louisiana, the delivery point for futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rose 26.65 cents, or 6.1 percent, to $4.6245 per million Btu.

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