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Canadian, U.S. Export/Import Gas Market Growing

Canadian natural gas exports continue to defy conventional wisdom by growing instead of living up to consensus forecasts of production tapering off in aging fields, trade records kept by the U.S. Department of Energy show.

In first-quarter 2005 Canadian pipeline exports grew even faster than tanker landings of LNG, the latest survey by the department's Office of Fossil Energy shows. The report confirms earlier information from Canada's National Energy Board, apart from minor differences due to varying data collection methods.

Canadian shipments to the U.S. in January through March were 996.5 Bcf, up 6.1% compared to 939.2 Bcf in first-quarter 2004. LNG cargoes landed in the U.S. grew 4%, to 157.3 Bcf in the first three months of the year from 151.4 Bcf in the same period of 2004.

The international gas market also continued to feature a growing two-way trade. Shipments from the U.S. to Canada increased by 35% to 168.2 Bcf in first-quarter 2005 from 124.6 Bcf in the same period a year earlier.

Mexico participated in the trade. For the first time since first-quarter 2002, the U.S. made imports from Mexico: 300 MMcf in the first three months of this year. Shipments from the U.S. to Mexico were up 2% to 89.4 Bcf in first-quarter 2005 from 87.5 Bcf in the same period of last year.

American exports of LNG also grew, with shipments to Japan from Alaska rising by 5.7% to 16.7 Bcf in first-quarter 2005 from 15.8 Bcf in the same period a year earlier.

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