U.S. Natural Gas Shipments Rise on Northeast Heat Forecast

2011-6-7

scheduled natural gas deliveries to U.S. electricity generators gained for the first time in five days as meteorologists forecast higher temperatures in the northeast that may increase air-conditioner use.

A sample of scheduled deliveries to power plants in the U.S. and Canada shows shipments rose 1.4 percent to 16.5 million dekatherms (16.1 billion cubic feet), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments to power generators in New York increased 32 percent.

Cooling demand in New York, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will be twice normal until at least June 13, while the South will be above normal, according to Belton, Missouri-based forecaster Weather Derivatives. Power plants use 30 percent of U.S. gas supplies.

"The South should remain plenty hot, with widespread 'above' to 'much above' readings expected to continue," MDA EarthSat Weather of Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in a note to clients. "This includes Texas, where drought conditions have been helping temps to spike in some locations."

The high in Austin, Texas, today may reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), 10 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. of State College, Pennsylvania.

Scheduled shipments for U.S. residences fell 16.2 percent to 22.7 million dekatherms after a 1.9 percent drop yesterday.

Wholesale gas at the Tetco M3 hub in New York, where gas is delivered to the Northeast, rose 35.84 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $5.2601 per million British thermal units as of 1:50 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, gained 10.73 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $4.8292 per million Btu.

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