Canada increases gas supplies to US

Jan 15, 1997 01:00 AM

Jan. 9, 1997 Canada continues to expand its role in supplying natural gas to the United States. In 1995, US imports of Canadian gas reached a record 2.8 tcf and accounted for virtually all natural gas imported by the US. Net imports from Canada represented 13 % of US natural gas consumption. Competitive prices, additional cross-border pipeline capacity, and continued growth in demand for gas in the US contributed to the strong import market. Pipeline imports from Canada enter the United States in four regional areas -- the Pacific north-west, the west, the midwest, and the north-east. From 1994 to 1995, imports rose in all regional areas, with the largest increase occurring in the west. Western imports entered the US through Idaho, and most were destined for Californian markets. In 1995, for the first time, more natural gas was imported from Canada under short-term authorisations than under long-term authorisations. During 1996, the upward trend in Canadian imports continued. However, the rate of growth has slowed as the price of the gas has rebounded substantially. Monthly prices from January through June 1996 ranged from $1.71 to $2.04 per 1,000 cubic feet. Canadian gas exports to Mexico in 1995 reached 61.3 bncf, a 32 % increase from the 1994 level. But through the first half of 1996 they declined. Expectations for rapidly growing demand for natural gas imports from the US to fuel electricity generating plants in northern Mexico have not yet materialised. In addition, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) increased natural gas production during the later part of 1995 and early 1996. However, the July 1996 explosion of one of the largest gas-processing plants in Mexico, which destroyed a third of Mexico's total processing capacity, has resulted in increased levels of US exports to Mexico in the latter part of 1996.

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