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U.S. natural gas futures fall 4% with less cold weather coming

          Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures fell about 4% on Friday on forecasts for less cold
weather that will reduce heating demand in late November and early December.
    Also weighing on gas prices were widespread expectations Freeport LNG will delay the restart of its
liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Texas to December or later.
    In recent days, a couple of LNG vessels that were either heading for Freeport (LNG Rosenrot) or had
waited outside the plant (Prism Brilliance) have moved on to other ports. LNG Rosenrot is now headed for
Gibraltar, while Prism Brilliance is sitting outside Corpus Christi in Texas where Cheniere Energy Inc (LNG)
 has an LNG export plant, ship tracking data from Refinitiv showed.
    Federal pipeline safety regulators released a heavily redacted consultant's report this week blaming
inadequate operating and testing procedures, human error and fatigue for the June 8 explosion that shut the
Freeport LNG plant.
    Sources familiar with Freeport LNG's filings with federal regulators have said this week that the company
had not yet submitted a request to resume service to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Many analysts said that means the plant will not return to
service until December at the earliest.
    Until late last week, Freeport LNG had said repeatedly the plant remained on track to return to service
in November. In comments made in recent days, however, the company did not mention a restart date.
    In other LNG news, the Cadiz Knutsen was on track to arrive at the Everett LNG terminal in Boston over
the next day or two with a cargo from Trinidad, making it the first LNG vessel to go to the port since
August, according to Refinitiv data.
    But with Everett competing with buyers willing to pay over $30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu)
for gas in Europe versus around $6 in the United States, the Massachusetts port has imported just 16.7
billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas as LNG during the first 10 months of this year. That is down from 18.1 bcf
during the same period in 2021 and a five-year (2017-2021) average of 33.3 bcf, according to federal energy
    New England depends on LNG and oil to fuel some power plants on the coldest days when most of the
region's pipeline gas is being used to heat homes and businesses. About half of the power generated in New
England comes from gas-fired plants.
    Front-month gas futures fell 23.4 cents, or 3.7%, to $6.135 per mmBtu at 8:55 a.m. EST (1355 GMT).
    For the week the contract was on track to rise about 3% after falling about 8% last week.
    Gas futures are up about 63% so far this year as much higher global gas prices feed demand for U.S.
exports due to supply disruptions and sanctions linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
    Gas was trading at $34 per mmBtu at the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in Europe and
$26 at the Japan Korea Marker (JKM) in Asia.
    Once the 2.1 billion-cubic-feet-per-day (bcfd) Freeport facility restarts, analysts expect U.S. gas
prices to rise due to increased demand from the country's LNG export plants.
    Even though some vessels have given up on a quick restart for Freeport, a couple of vessels have been
waiting outside the plant since late October/early November - Prism Diversity and Prism Courage - and one
vessel was still making its way across the Atlantic Ocean toward the plant - Prism Agility.
    Refinitiv projected average U.S. gas demand, including exports, would jump from 122.2 bcfd this week to
125.9 bcfd next week with the coming of colder weather before dropping to 117.3 bcfd as the weather turns
less cold.
                                              Week ended     Week ended    Year ago   Five-year
                                                Nov 18         Nov 11       Nov 18     average
                                              (Forecast)      (Actual)                  Nov 18
 U.S. weekly natgas storage change (bcf):         -77            +64          -14        -48
 U.S. total natgas in storage (bcf):             3,567          3,644        3,626      3,603
 U.S. total storage versus 5-year average        -1.0%          -0.2%

 Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)   Current Day     Prior Day      This     Prior Year   Five Year
                                                                             Month     Average      Average
                                                                           Last Year     2021     (2017-2021)
 Henry Hub                                       6.12           6.37         5.12        3.73        2.89
 Title Transfer Facility (TTF)                   33.60          34.16        27.71      16.04        7.49
 Japan Korea Marker (JKM)                        26.32          25.89        32.98      18.00        8.95

 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days
 Two-Week Total Forecast                      Current Day     Prior Day      Prior     10-Year      30-Year
                                                                             Year        Norm        Norm
 U.S. GFS HDDs                                    340            350          304        296          319
 U.S. GFS CDDs                                     4              4            8          11           8
 U.S. GFS TDDs                                    344            354          312        307          327

 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts
                                              Prior Week    Current Week   Next Week  This Week    Five-Year
                                                                                      Last Year   Average For
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production                    98.8           100.0        99.9        95.3        89.6
 U.S. Imports from Canada                         6.2            8.6          8.6        8.8          8.2
 U.S. LNG Imports                                 0.0            0.0          0.0        0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                               105.0          108.6        108.5      104.1        97.9

 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                           2.3            2.2          2.4        3.3          2.9
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                           5.8            5.6          5.6        5.5          5.1
 U.S. LNG Exports                                11.5           12.1         12.4        11.3         6.4
 U.S. Commercial                                  8.5           14.2         15.6        12.0        11.5
 U.S. Residential                                11.6           23.1         25.5        18.2        17.2
 U.S. Power Plant                                29.1           32.1         31.1        27.4        26.0
 U.S. Industrial                                 22.6           25.2         25.4        23.4        24.0
 U.S. Plant Fuel                                  4.9            4.9          4.9        4.9          4.9
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                           2.1            2.7          2.8        2.7          2.1
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                                0.1            0.1          0.1        0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                          78.9           102.4        105.5       88.7        85.8
 Total U.S. Demand                               98.4           122.2        125.9      108.8        100.2

 U.S. weekly power generation percent by fuel - EIA
                                              Week ended     Week ended      Week     Week ended  Week ended
                                                Nov 18         Nov 11      ended Nov    Oct 28      Oct 21
 Wind                                              9             15           12          15          11
 Solar                                             3              3            3          3            3
 Hydro                                             7              6            5          5            5
 Other                                             2              3            2          2            3
 Petroleum                                         0              0            0          0            0
 Natural Gas                                      41             38           39          37          39
 Coal                                             18             16           18          18          19
 Nuclear                                          20             20           20          19          19

 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day
 Henry Hub 6.20           5.88
 Transco Z6 New York 7.20           7.57
 PG&E Citygate 8.80           8.31
 Dominion South 5.83           5.30
 Chicago Citygate 6.24           5.71
 Algonquin Citygate 8.16           5.60
 SoCal Citygate 8.64           8.32
 Waha Hub 4.97           5.06
 AECO 4.96           4.50

 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)
 Hub                                          Current Day     Prior Day
 New England 78.50          72.25
 PJM West 81.75          80.75
 Ercot North 50.00          52.00
 Mid C 89.00          95.50
 Palo Verde 84.50          82.75
 SP-15 84.75          82.50
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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