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US gas used for power generation dips to 10-week low on cold weather in South

Highlights

Natural gas consumption used for power generation dipped to a 10-week low over the weekend, averaging 21.1 Bcf/d Saturday and Sunday as temperatures in the South averaged 4 degrees Fahrenheit below the historical average, data from Platts Analytics showed Monday.

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US daily power burn last dipped below 21 Bcf/d early this year when mild temperatures prompted gas burn to dip to 20.8 Bcf/d on January 31.

On Saturday power burn in the Southeast and Texas fell 900 MMcf/d and 400 MMcf/d, respectively, while smaller day-on-day declines were also seen in all other US regions expect the Rockies.

The unexpected drop in power burn over the weekend bucks the 2016 trend which has seen natural gas consumption for power generation rise 7% year on year to an average 24.4 Bcf/d.

Article Continues below...

Much of the annual increase in power burn comes on the back baseload growth in gas consumption from coal retirements which totaled about 15GW in 2015. Platts Analytics expects that another 6.8 GW of coal-fired power will be retired this year.

--J. Robinson, jonathan.robinson@platts.com
--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@platts.com