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U.S. natgas futures up 1% on forecasts for warmer weather

    Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures edged up about 1% to a fresh one-week high on Tuesday on
forecasts for warmer weather over the next two weeks than previously expected.
    That small increase occurred even though output was still on track to reach a record monthly high and
forecasts for lower demand next week than previously expected.
    It also coincided with the ongoing outage at the Freeport liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in
Texas, which has left more gas in the United States for utilities to inject into stockpiles for next winter.
    Freeport, the second-biggest U.S. LNG export plant, was consuming about 2 billion cubic feet per day
(bcfd) of gas before it shut on June 8. Freeport LNG expects the facility to return to at least partial
service in early to mid-November.
    Front-month gas futures were up 6.8 cents, or 0.8%, to $8.317 per million British thermal units
(mmBtu) at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT), putting the contract on track for its highest close since Sept. 2 for a
second day in a row.
    That put the contract on track to rise for a fourth day in a row for the first time since May.
    So far this year, gas futures are up about 123% as higher prices in Europe and Asia keep demand for U.S.
LNG exports strong. Global gas prices have soared due to supply disruptions and sanctions linked to Russia's
Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
    Gas was trading around $57 per mmBtu in Europe and $53 in Asia.
    Russian gas exports via the three main lines into Germany - Nord Stream 1 (Russia-Germany), Yamal
(Russia-Belarus-Poland-Germany) and the Russia-Ukraine-Slovakia-Czech Republic-Germany route - have averaged
just 1.4 bcfd so far in September, down from 2.5 bcfd in August and 10.8 bcfd in September 2021.

    
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    U.S. gas futures lag far behind global prices because the United States is the world's top producer with
all the fuel it needs for domestic use, while capacity constraints and the Freeport outage prevents the
country from exporting more LNG.
    Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the U.S. Lower 48 states have risen to 93.1 bcfd so far
in September from a record 98.0 bcfd in August.
    With the coming of cooler autumn weather, Refinitiv projected average U.S. gas demand, including exports,
would slip from 93.1 bcfd this week to 92.7 bcfd next week. The forecast for next week was lower than
Refinitiv's outlook on Monday.
    The average amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export plants has risen to 11.2 bcfd so far in September
from 11.0 bcfd in August. That compares with a monthly record of 12.9 bcfd in March. The seven big U.S. export
plants can turn about 13.8 bcfd of gas into LNG.
    The reduction in exports from Freeport is a problem for Europe, where most U.S. LNG has gone this year as
countries there wean themselves off Russian energy.
    Russia, the world's second-biggest gas producer, has provided about a third of Europe's gas in recent
years, totaling about 18.3 bcfd in 2021. The European Union wants to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by
the end of 2022 and refill stockpiles to 80% of capacity by Nov. 1 and 90% by Nov. 1 each year beginning in
2023.
    Gas stockpiles in northwest Europe - Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands - were
currently about 4% above their five-year (2017-2021) average for this time of year, according to Refinitiv.
Storage was currently around 86% of capacity.
    That is much healthier than U.S. gas inventories, which were still about 12% below their five-year norm.

    
    
                                              Week ended     Week ended     Year ago   Five-year        
                                                 Sep 9          Sep 2        Sep 9      average    
                                              (Forecast)      (Actual)                   Sep 9     
 U.S. weekly natgas storage change (bcf):         +64            +54          +78         +82           
 U.S. total natgas in storage (bcf):             2,758          2,694        2,994       3,125          
 U.S. total storage versus 5-year average       -11.7%         -11.5% Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)   Current Day     Prior Day    This Month  Prior Year   Five Year
                                                                           Last Year    Average      Average
                                                                                          2021     (2017-2021)
 Henry Hub                                       8.38           8.25          5.11        3.73        2.89
 Title Transfer Facility (TTF)                   56.25          56.49        22.61       16.04        7.49
 Japan Korea Marker (JKM)                        53.13          53.90        23.35       18.00        8.95 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                                     
 Two-Week Total Forecast                      Current Day     Prior Day    Prior Year   10-Year      30-Year
                                                                                          Norm        Norm
 U.S. GFS HDDs                                    16             15            16          30          40
 U.S. GFS CDDs                                    140            122          121         124          108
 U.S. GFS TDDs                                    156            137          137         154          148 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                                  
                                              Prior Week    Current Week   Next Week   This Week    Five-Year
                                                                                       Last Year   Average For Month 
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production                    99.3           98.9          99.4        93.0        87.0
 U.S. Imports from Canada                         7.7            7.9          7.9         8.2          7.7
 U.S. LNG Imports                                 0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                               107.1          106.7        107.3       101.2        95.8 U.S. Demand (bcfd)                                                                                     
 U.S. Exports to Canada                           2.1            2.5          2.4         2.6          2.4
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                           5.4            5.6          5.6         5.8          5.3
 U.S. LNG Exports                                11.3           11.1          10.5        9.8          4.9
 U.S. Commercial                                  4.5            4.7          4.8         4.7          4.9
 U.S. Residential                                 3.6            3.8          4.0         3.8          3.9
 U.S. Power Plant                                41.7           37.1          37.1        34.4        33.2
 U.S. Industrial                                 21.4           21.3          21.3        20.7        21.2
 U.S. Plant Fuel                                  4.9            4.9          4.9         4.9          4.9
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                           2.1            2.0          2.0         2.0          2.1
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                                0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                          78.4           73.9          74.2        70.6        70.3
 Total U.S. Demand                               97.2           93.1          92.7        88.8        82.9 U.S. weekly power generation percent by fuel - EIA                                                
                                              Week ended     Week ended    Week ended  Week ended  Week ended
                                                Sep 16          Sep 9        Sep 2       Aug 26      Aug 19
 Wind                                              6              6            7           5            6
 Solar                                             3              3            3           3            3
 Hydro                                             5              6            5           6            6
 Other                                             2              2            2           2            2
 Petroleum                                         0              0            0           0            0
 Natural Gas                                      43             45            44          44          42
 Coal                                             21             21            21          22          22
 Nuclear                                          19             18            17          18          19 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                         8.20           8.31                               
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL              7.54           7.02                               
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL                   9.60           8.82                               
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL                 7.19           7.10                               
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL                 7.59           7.34                               
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL               7.60           7.60                               
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL                 8.82           7.86                               
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                       7.31           7.35                               
 AECO NG-ASH-ALB-SNL                           3.55           2.78 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL                    88.50          73.00                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                      112.75          99.50                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL                    79.00          77.75                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                         101.50         107.00                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL                     81.75          91.25                              
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                          83.00          93.75                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Paul Simao)
  
 
 
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