(Corrects last paragraph to show prices dropped 'by' $29 per mmBtu, not 'to' $29)
NEW YORK Jan 25 Williams Cos Inc's Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co lifted its systemwide operational flow order on Friday as demand for gas to heat homes was expected to ease on forecasts for rising temperatures.
Operational flow orders are generally issued to balance gas flows and protect the integrity of the pipeline system.
Williams issued the order on Wednesday as temperatures dropped to 11 degrees Fahrenheit (-11.7 Celsius) in New York, according to AccuWeather.com. Temperatures in New York were forecast to rise to a high of 38 F by Monday, AccuWeather.com said.
The 10,000 mile-long Transco pipeline feeds natural gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast to states in the Southeast and along the Atlantic coastline, as far as the U.S. Northeast.
More than half of U.S. homes use natural gas as a heating fuel.
Spot natural gas prices on Transco Zone 6, the portion of the Williams pipeline that feeds into New York City, hit a five-year high on Wednesday at $35.48 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), on average.
Prices had eased to around $9.20 per mmBtu, down some $29, early Friday, traders said.
(Reporting By Jeanine Prezioso; editing by Jim Marshall)