Gas Market Update (September 26, 2012)

- September 26th, 2012

A brief overview of gas price developments, supply and demand and significant market movers.

US gas futures rose early on Tuesday, lifted by nuclear power plant outages that have boosted near-term demand.

“We are viewing the market’s ability to hold up in the face of mild temperature forecasts and lack of significant storm threat as suggestive of one more price lift that could still carry October futures into the $2.90-2.96 zone prior to tomorrow’s expiry,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, in a Reuters report.

As of Tuesday morning, front-month October natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at $2.866 per MBtu.

Canada could potentially one day export 9 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of LNG to Asia, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told a Japanese audience last week.

In a speech to the Liquefied Natural Gas Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo, Oliver touted Canada as a rising “global energy leader.”

Oliver was visiting Japan and South Korea on a mission to drum up business for Canada’s fledgling LNG industry and is travelling with business executives from AltaGas (TSX:ALA), Encana (TSX:ECA,NYSE:ECA) and Nexen (TSX:NXY,NYSE:ECA).

The US Energy Information Administration last week said domestic gas inventories rose across the week by 67 Bcf to 3.496 trillion cubic feet.

The natural gas rotary rig count, as reported by Baker Hughes on September 14, fell by 4 to 448 active units.

Working natural gas in storage rose last week to 3,496 Bcf, according to the EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. An implied storage build of 67 Bcf for the week positioned storage volumes 320 Bcf above levels seen at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, Israel held discussions with the Palestinian Authority (PA) regarding plans to develop a gas field off the coast of the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Prepared for a gathering of donors to the PA, the report, released on Sunday, said initial negotiations on the controversial issue have already begun.

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