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U.S. natgas on track to hit highest since November as hurricane shuts output

    Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures were on track to reach their highest close since
November on Friday as production fell to its lowest in over two years after Gulf Coast energy firms
shut wells ahead of Hurricane Delta and on forecasts for colder weather and higher demand in mid
October.
    That price increase came despite a drop in gas flows to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants
as operators either shut or reduced their Louisiana facilities before Delta makes landfall.
    Delta was expected to slam into Southwest Louisiana near the Cameron LNG export plant later Friday.

    Front-month gas futures rose 11.3 cents, or 4.3%, to $2.740 per million British thermal
units at 8:54 a.m. EDT (1254 GMT), putting the contract on track for its highest close since November.
    After rising 19% over the past two weeks, the front-month was up 12% so far this week.
    Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 U.S. states would drop from a 26-month low of
84.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) earlier this week to a preliminary 83.1 bcfd on Friday as Gulf
Coast producers shut wells.
    The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said energy firms shut 1.7 bcfd, or 62%, of
offshore Gulf of Mexico gas production.
    In Louisiana, meanwhile, Cameron LNG shut its LNG export plant on Thursday, while Cheniere Energy
Inc reduced gas flows to its Sabine Pass facility from a five-month high of 4.0 bcfd earlier in
the week to a preliminary 2.1 bcfd on Friday. Cheniere said it planned to keep Sabine operating with a
small "ride-out" crew.
    Refinitiv projected demand would slip from 87.0 bcfd this week to 85.3 bcfd next week before
jumping to 93.2 bcfd in two weeks when the weather turns colder and with LNG plants in Louisiana and
Cove Point in Maryland expected to return.
                
                                       Week ended     Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                         Oct 9         Oct 2         Oct 9      average    
                                       (Forecast)      (Actual)                  Oct 9     
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +63           +75          +102        +87 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                        
 Two-Week Total Forecast               Current Day    Prior Day    Prior Year   10-Year    30-Year Norm
                                                                                  Norm     
 U.S. GFS HDDs                             119           117           75          73          131
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             57             52           99          72           39
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             176           169          174         145          170
                                                                                           
 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                     
                                       Prior Week    Current Week  Next Week   This Week    Five-Year
                                                                               Last Year   Average For
                                                                                              Month
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production             86.6           85.8         84.7        94.2         80.1
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  5.9           6.7          6.5         7.3          7.6
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0           0.0          0.0         0.0          0.2
 Total U.S. Supply                        92.6           92.5         91.2       101.5         87.9
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.1           2.2          2.2         2.2          1.9
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    6.0           5.9          5.8         5.9          4.5
 U.S. LNG Exports                          6.4           7.1          6.5         6.1          2.3
 U.S. Commercial                           5.3           6.0          5.7         5.8          6.7
 U.S. Residential                          4.9           6.2          5.7         5.8          7.0
 U.S. Power Plant                         30.6           31.3         31.3        31.1         26.8
 U.S. Industrial                          21.8           22.1         21.7        21.5         21.0
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.3           4.2          4.2         4.2          4.3
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    1.8           1.9          1.9         1.9          1.8
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1           0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                   68.9           71.8         70.7        70.4         67.7
 Total U.S. Demand                        83.4           87.0         85.3        84.6         76.4 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                        
 Hub                                   Current Day    Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                  1.49           2.01                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL       0.67           1.15                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL            3.86           3.97                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL          0.64           1.12                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL          1.19           1.59                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL        0.78           1.34                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL          2.38           2.92                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                0.89           0.40 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                      
 Hub                                   Current Day    Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             22.00         20.25                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                18.50         19.75                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             21.50         24.00                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   24.75         28.67                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              22.00         26.50                              
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   28.50         32.25                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
  
 
 
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