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Summary Report - 4th Quarter, 1999

The Office of Natural Gas & Petroleum Import & Export Activities prepares quarterly reports showing natural gas import and export activity. Companies are required, as a condition of their authorizations, to file quarterly reports. This report is for the fourth quarter of 1999 (October through December).

Attachment A shows the percentage of takes to maximum firm contract levels and the weighted average per unit price for each of the long-term importers during the five most recent reporting quarters.

Attachment B shows volumes and prices of gas purchased by long-term importers and exporters during the past 12 months.

Attachment C shows volume and price data for gas imported on a short-term or spot market basis.

Attachment D shows the gas exported on a short-term or spot market basis to Canada and Mexico.

Fourth Quarter Highlights:As illustrated below, there were notable changes in activity compared to the fourth quarter of 1998.

Canadian Imports
LNG Imports
Mexican Imports
Total Imports
Mexican Exports
Canadian Exports
Japanese Exports

860.8 Bcf
42.6 Bcf
13.9 Bcf
917.3 Bcf
13.1 Bcf
17.6 Bcf
14.9 Bcf

up 12%
up 51%
up 504%
up 14.6%
down 16%
up 46.6%
down .1%

See details below for more information.

Two new long-term import authorizations were activated, totaling 50 MMcf per day or 18.25 Bcf annually. Most of these volumes (43.9 MMcf per day or nearly 88 percent) will supply a 150 MW cogeneration facility near Jay, Maine. The steam and electricity produced by this cogen facility will be sold to International Paper Company's Androscoggin Mill. Any excess electricity or imported gas will be sold to the New England Power Pool or other third parties. The other 12 percent of the new imports (or 6.1 MMcf per day) will supply industrial, commercial and residential customers in Duluth, Minnesota.

During the fourth quarter, 4 importers of LNG (Distrigas Corporation; Duke Energy LNG; CMS Marketing, Services and Trading Company; and Enron International Gas Sales Company) brought in 10 spot cargoes from 5 different countries (Algeria, Australia, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, and United Arab Emirates), totaling 20.8 Bcf.

Fourth Quarter Data: Comparing fourth quarter 1999 to fourth quarter 1998, total imports under long-term contracts declined slightly. Of this total, long-term Canadian imports also declined slightly while long-term LNG imports increased significantly. Specifically, natural gas imports under all long-term contracts totaled 357.5 Bcf, compared to 358 Bcf in the fourth quarter of 1998. Of this total, long-term Canadian imports were down 1 percent (335.7 v. 340.4 Bcf). The average price of this gas was $2.56 per MMBtu, which is 12 cents or 5 percent higher than the preceding quarter and 42 cents or 20 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 1998. Long-term LNG imports increased 24 percent (21.8 v. 17.6 Bcf), reflecting the new long-term supply arrangement with Trinidad that began in May 1999. Under long-term LNG import contracts, Distrigas imported 7.4 Bcf from Algeria at an average price of $2.61 per MMBtu and 11.9 Bcf from Trinidad at $2.73. Duke imported 2.5 Bcf from Algeria at $2.00.

During the fourth quarter, 94 companies used short-term authorizations to import 559.8 Bcf, which is 26.5 percent more than the fourth quarter of 1998 (442.4 Bcf) but 2 percent less than last quarter (570.8 Bcf). Of this total, 525.1 Bcf was imported from Canada at an average price of $2.47 per MMBtu, compared to 429.2 Bcf at $1.91 in the fourth quarter of 1998, and 532.6 Bcf at $2.27 last quarter. Imports from Mexico totaled 13.9 Bcf at $2.31, compared to 2.3 Bcf at $1.70 in the fourth quarter of 1998 and 14.5 Bcf at $2.44 last quarter. Short-term LNG imports totaled 20.8 Bcf for the quarter, compared to 10.6 Bcf in the fourth quarter of 1998 and 23.7 Bcf last quarter. Under these short-term contracts, Distrigas imported 5.9 Bcf from Trinidad at $2.42 per MMBtu; Duke imported 2.7 Bcf from Algeria at $2.00; CMS imported 4.7 Bcf from Australia at $2.24; Enron imported 2.7 Bcf from UAE at $2.69; and CMS imported 4.8 Bcf from Qatar at $3.13.

Approximately 31 percent of the short-term Canadian imports occurred at Eastport, ID at an average price of $2.42 per MMBtu; 24 percent at Port of Morgan, MT at $2.37; 16 percent at Sumas, WA at $2.46; 14 percent at Noyes, MN at $2.54; 7 percent at Niagara Falls, NY at $2.78; 4 percent at Waddington, NY at $2.59; and 4 percent at other entry points at $2.62.

In addition, 15 short-term export authorizations were used, exporting a total of 30.7 Bcf of gas. Eight companies exported 17.6 Bcf to Canada, at an average price of $2.63 per MMBtu. Seven companies exported 13.1 Bcf to Mexico at $2.66. Finally, 14.9 Bcf of LNG was exported to Japan at $3.55 per MMBtu (delivered).

1999 Highlights:Comparing the 1999 data to that of 1998, total gas imports increased by 12.6 percent (3,549.3 v. 3,152.8 Bcf) and total gas exports increased by 2 percent (167.3 v. 164.4 Bcf). Based on preliminary gas consumption figures, net imports as a percentage of total domestic gas demand grew to 15.8 percent this year compared to 14 percent last year. Canadian imports increased by 279 Bcf or 9 percent (3,331.4 v. 3,052.4 Bcf); Mexican imports increased 276 percent (54.5 v. 14.5 Bcf); and LNG imports increased 90 percent (163.4 v. 85.9 Bcf). Exports to Canada decreased 6 percent (42.4 v. 45.3 Bcf) and exports to Mexico increased 15 percent (61.3 v. 53.1 Bcf). LNG exports to Japan decreased nearly 4 percent (63.6 v. 66 Bcf).

This quarter's focus report is a review of gas import/export activity for 1999. Next quarter's focus report will go into further detail of 1999's gas trade. Any questions or comments about this report should be directed to Yvonne Caudillo at (202) 586-4587 or by E-mail at yvonne.caudillo@hq.doe.gov.

 Page owner:  Fossil Energy Office of Communications
Page updated on: February 18, 2004 

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