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Canadian Exports, Revenues from Gas Sales to the U.S. Show Declines

With increased demand at home, Canada had less natural gas to export to the U.S. during the gas contract year that ended last Oct. 31, a final tally by the National Energy Board (NEB) showed. Canadian exports to the United States shrank by 4.8% during the contract year, the NEB said. Total contract year pipeline deliveries to all U.S. destinations were 3.55 Tcf, down from 3.73 Tcf in the 12 months that ended Oct. 31, 2005.

Canadian producers also felt the sharp price drop in mid-2006, off the peak hit following the '05 hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. For the full 2005-06 contract year, prices fetched by pipeline exports at the international border averaged US$7.37 per MMBtu, up by only a marginal 1.8% from $7.24 in the previous 12 months.

When combined with the erosion of sales volumes, the price trend led to a revenue reverse. The total value of Canadian gas exports for 2005-06 was US$26.4 billion, down 3.2% from US$27.3 billion the preceding contract year.

Increases in the value of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart pushed last year into negative territory for exporters when their results were measured in their own currency and volume units. By that yardstick border prices averaged C$7.86 per gigajoule in the 12 months that ended last Oct. 31, down 4% from C$8.18 the previous gas contract year. Export revenues in Canadian currency were C$30.2 billion for the 2005-06 contract year, down 8.7% from C$33.1 billion in the preceding 12 months.

Just how sharply the price tables turned showed in the NEB's gas export tally for the final month of the 2005-06 contract year. Last October, the average export border price was US$4.81 per MMBtu. That was down by 58.8% from US$11.66 in October of 2005.

Among major destinations for Canadian gas, exports to California grew by 3.8% to 455.7 Bcf in the 12 months ended last Oct. 31, from 439.1 Bcf in the previous contract year. California export prices averaged US$6.96 per MMBtu in 2005-06, compared to US$6.64 in 2004-05.

But pipeline deliveries to the U.S. Middle West dropped by 3.8% to 1.51 Tcf in 2005-06, from 1.57 Tcf in the previous gas contract year. Middle West export prices averaged US$7.34 in 2005-06, up 1.2% from US$7.25 in the previous contract year.

Canadian exports to the U.S. Northeast fell by 5.2% to 1.19 Tcf in the contract year that ended last Oct. 31, from 1.26 Tcf in the preceding 12 months. Northeast-states export prices averaged US$7.69 per MMBtu in 2005-06, up one-tenth of one percent from US$7.68 in 2004-05.

Canadian gas deliveries to the U.S. Pacific Northwest dropped 16% to 381.2 Bcf in the last contract year, from 453.7 Bcf in the preceding 12 months. Northwest prices averaged US$7 per MMBtu in 2005-06, up 7% from US$6.54 in 2004-05.

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