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Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
September 2007

Vol. 12, No. 35 Week of September 02, 2007

Canadian gas exports keep rising

Canadian natural gas exports to the United States keep defying gravity and predictions.

For the first five months of 2007, they have totaled 1.54 trillion cubic feet, generating revenues of C$12.68 billion compared with 1.44 tcf and C$12.53 billion for the same period last year, according to Canada’s National Energy Board.

In May, the latest month for which figures are available, the shipments were 290.5 billion cubic feet and revenues were C$2.33 billion, with volumes up 1.9 percent from 285 bcf in May 2006, when the sales fetched C$2.02 billion, the federal regulator reported.

The returns to producers have been depressed by the higher value of the Canadian dollar.

Prices for the January-May period averaged C$7.63 per gigajoule this year, compared with C$8.04 a year earlier, but May posted an average gain to C$7.43 from C$6.55.

Midwest, Northeast markets

The two major markets for Canadian gas both logged gains in May, with the Midwest up 2.1 percent to 121.3 bcf and the Northeast edging up 1.2 percent to 99.2 bcf, but the Midwest was down just over 3 percent to 624.1 bcf for the opening five months, while exports to the Northeast gained 15.8 percent to 487.6 bcf.

Over the five-month period, volumes to the Pacific Northwest increased almost 20 percent at 172.1 bcf and California rose 14 percent to 199 bcf.

The overall picture, including a 6.5 percent jump in export volumes, is at odds with a recent Conference Board of Canada outlook, forecasting exports would rise by only 1.8 percent this year, then fall by an average 2.4 percent annually over the 2008-11 period.

The National Energy Board’s report calculated liquefied natural gas imports to the U.S. were up 76 percent in the March-to-May period, averaging 3 bcf for those three months. But the Energy Information Administration has projected declining liquefied natural gas imports for the second half of 2007 as more cargoes are directed to European and Asian markets.

However, the EIA said total LNG imports should reach a record 850 bcf for the year.

—Gary Park






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