US cold blast sends Canadian spot gas soaring

Plummeting temperatures in the US northeast and other markets are pushing prices for western Canada natural gas to new highs. Spot prices for Alberta gas hit a record high of $8.58 (Can.)/GJ Nov. 21. That compared with a price of $2.80 a year ago. Natural gas on the spot market at the major AECO-C trading hub in southern Alberta is trading at more than triple the prices at this time a year ago.


CALGARY�Plummeting temperatures in the US northeast and other markets are pushing prices for western Canada natural gas to new highs.

Spot prices for Alberta gas hit a record high of $8.58 (Can.)/gigajoule Nov. 21. That compared with a price of $2.80 a year ago.

Natural gas on the spot market at the major AECO-C trading hub in southern Alberta is trading at more than triple the prices at this time a year ago.

Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, BC, said a cold snap on the West Coast and continuing gas demand for electrical generation in California created price spikes this week. Prices at the Sumas, Wash., border point Nov. 20 rose 75% on the day to $22.90/gigajoule. There were also bottlenecks in the Northwest Pipeline system in the US�which interconnects with Westcoast�and they added to the demand for Canadian gas.

Forward selling prices for Canadian producers until the end of October 2001 are now at $7.28/gigajoule.

The continuing surge in oil and gas prices is expected to create record fourth quarter earnings for Canadian producers and a record surplus for Alberta, which produces most of Canada�s oil and gas. The province recently forecast a $4.17 billion (Can.) surplus in provincial revenues, but that is now expected to be higher.

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