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Algonquin natural gas pipeline in US Northeast delays significant Apr 4 maintenance

Just hours before significant capacity-reducing maintenance was supposed to take effect Wednesday, Algonquin Gas Transmission issued a notice delaying the pipeline maintenance, without citing a reason for the delay.

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The announcement put some bearish pressure on AGT city-gates spot prices, which fell over 50 cents to trade at around $6.66/MMBtu on the Intercontinental Exchange.

Spot prices elsewhere in the region continued what has been a multi-day rally.

The delay also put pressure on balance-of-the-month contracts, with AGT balmo basis shedding over 55 cents to trade at plus $1.811/MMBtu.

AGT, the main artery for gas flowing into New England, regularly conducts maintenance throughout the summer months, leading to varying capacity reductions across the pipeline.

The largest of 2018's reductions were originally scheduled to begin Wednesday April 4, extend through April 18 and reduce capacity through the Stony Point compressor to 690 MMC/d, well below the average 1.8 Bcf/d of flows it saw through March.

Expectations for significant constraints drove AGT city-gates index prices to their highest level since 2014 during bidweek trading, with the AGT April cash basis settling $1.449/MMBtu ahead of Henry Hub.

The maintenance was rescheduled to begin April 10 late Tuesday evening. Until then, capacity through the station will be reduced to 1.4 Bcf/d.

The delay may be attributable to an incoming wave of cold weather, with the most recent forecasts projecting demand over the coming seven days to average 21.3 Bcf/d, more than 3.6 Bcf/d greater than projections for the same period just five days ago, S&P Global Platts Analytics data shows.

--Samer Mosis,
--Edited by Maurice Geller,