For those of us who rely on natural gas to heat our homes in the winter, this is very bad news. Time to start saving for next winter’s heating bills now.
A steep decline in Canadian natural gas drilling, coupled with increased gas consumption as more oilsands fields come onstream, could dramatically reduce the amount of gas Canada exports to the U.S. in 2007.
Analysts believe Canadian natural gas volumes available for export to the U.S. could drop by as much as 1 billion cubic feet a day, or about 11%, tightening available supply and likely ratcheting up futures prices.
If this news is accurate, it means rough winters for those of us in norther climes, and rough summers for people in areas that rely on natgas-fired electrical plants. Canada has certain obligations to supply the US with natural gas per terms of the NAFTA agreement, but if they simply don’t have the gas, I’m not sure what can be done. LNG imports will increase over time, but that will be 5-10 years in the future, even with fast-track governmental approval.
My plan: shop the winter clearance sales this year for cheap blankets, thermal underwear and sweaters. It’s time to consider keeping the house at 70F+ in the winter as the luxury that it is rather than the minimal requirement for comfort.