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UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas futures hold at two-week low despite soaring global prices

 (Adds latest prices, Cameron LNG return and Cheniere Sabine 6
moving closer to service)
    Sept 22 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures held steady at
a two-week low on Wednesday as forecasts for lower demand next
week than previously expected offset continued strong interest
in U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) arising from soaring global
gas prices.
    Front-month gas futures remained unchanged to settle
at $4.805 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), the same as
on Tuesday, when the contract closed at its lowest since Sept.
7.
    Since hitting a seven-year high last week, the front-month
has shed about 12% on growing expectations the United States
will have enough gas in storage for the upcoming winter heating
season. U.S. gas stockpiles were about 7.1% below their
five-year normal for this time of year.
    Analysts said the storage situation was much worse in
Europe, where prices have soared to record highs primarily
because stockpiles in some countries were 20% or more below
normal for this time of year.
    With gas prices at or near record highs of around $25 per
mmBtu in Europe and near $28 in Asia,
versus just about $5 in the United States, traders noted that
buyers around the world were purchasing all the super-chilled
gas the United States can produce.
    Despite reductions at several plants this month, data
provider Refinitiv said, the amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG
export plants was only down to an average of 10.4 billion cubic
feet per day (bcfd) so far in September from 10.5 bcfd in
August.
    That small LNG feedgas decline came despite a three-week
maintenance outage at Berkshire Hathaway Energy's Cove Point in
Maryland, a brief shutdown last week at Freeport LNG's plant in
Texas during Tropical Storm Nicholas and what is expected to be
a brief reduction this week at Cameron LNG's plant in Louisiana.

    No matter how high global prices rise, however, the United
States only has the capacity to turn about 10.5 bcfd of gas into
LNG. Global markets will have to wait until later this year to
get more from the United States when the sixth liquefaction
train at Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass and Venture
Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana will likely start
producing LNG in test mode.
    Refinitiv said gas output in the U.S. Lower 48 states fell
to an average of 90.7 bcfd so far in September from 92.0 bcfd in
August, due mostly to Hurricane Ida-related losses along the
Gulf Coast. That compares with a monthly record of 95.4 bcfd in
November 2019.
    About 0.5 bcfd, or 24%, of gas production in the U.S. Gulf
of Mexico remained shut-in since Ida hit Louisiana on Aug. 29,
government data showed on Tuesday.
    With seasonally milder weather coming, Refinitiv projected
average U.S. gas demand, including exports, would fall from 86.2
bcfd this week to 83.1 bcfd next week as air conditioning use
declines.
    
                                              Week ended     Week ended     Year ago   Five-year        
                                                Sep 17         Sep 10       Sep 17      average    
                                              (Forecast)      (Actual)                   Sep 17    
 U.S. weekly natgas storage change (bcf):         75             83            74          70           
 U.S. total natgas in storage (bcf):             3,081          3,006        3,671       3,311          
 U.S. total storage versus 5-year average        -6.9%          -7.1% Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)   Current Day     Prior Day    This Month  Prior Year   Five Year
                                                                           Last Year    Average      Average
                                                                                          2020     (2016-2020)
 Henry Hub                                       4.83           4.96          2.28        2.13        2.66
 Title Transfer Facility (TTF)                   24.66          25.49         3.94        3.24        5.19
 Japan Korea Marker (JKM)                        27.53          27.19         4.63        4.22        6.49 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                                    29             32            56          52          64
 U.S. GFS CDDs                                    91             87            75          94          83
 U.S. GFS TDDs                                    120            119          131         146          147 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                    90.9           91.8          92.1        87.2        82.6
 U.S. Imports from Canada                         7.2            7.2          7.2         6.1          7.6
 U.S. LNG Imports                                 0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                               98.1           99.1          99.3        93.3        90.3 U.S. Demand (bcfd)                                                                                     
 U.S. Exports to Canada                           2.5            2.5          2.5         2.0          2.3
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                           5.7            5.8          5.9         5.8          5.0
 U.S. LNG Exports                                10.2           10.0          10.2        5.6          3.1
 U.S. Commercial                                  4.7            4.9          5.0         5.1          4.8
 U.S. Residential                                 3.8            4.1          4.2         4.5          3.8
 U.S. Power Plant                                33.5           31.5          28.0        30.8        32.8
 U.S. Industrial                                 20.9           21.0          20.9        21.6        21.1
 U.S. Plant Fuel                                  4.5            4.5          4.5         4.5          4.4
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                           1.8            1.8          1.7         1.8          1.9
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                                0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                          69.4           67.9          64.5        68.4        68.9
 Total U.S. Demand                               87.8           86.2          83.1        81.8        79.3 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                                     
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day                                 
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                         4.96           5.25                                    
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL              3.87           4.30                                    
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL                   6.92           7.20                                    
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL                 3.65           4.26                                    
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL                 4.63           4.96                                    
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL               4.25           4.49                                    
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL                 7.52           8.82                                    
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                       4.63           4.66 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                                   
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day                                 
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL                    62.00          53.50                                   
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                       33.75          41.25                                   
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL                    44.50          46.00                                   
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                          57.00          82.25                                   
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL                     66.75          68.25                                   
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                          74.00          72.25                                   
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Mark Porter)
  
 
 
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