Expected increase in demand to further stretch natural gas supply

Wednesday, September 28th 2005, 1:14 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hurricane Rita and an anticipated increase in heating demand are expected to stretch natural gas supplies even further. And according to the Natural Gas Supply Association it's likely resulting in higher prices this winter.

The association says natural gas markets so far appear to be compensating for Hurricane Katrina-related supply disruptions.

An analysis by the NGSA says weather is the largest single factor affecting demand and customer bills and is also the most difficult to predict.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is projecting a winter colder than last winter, which was the eighth warmest on record.

Cambridge Energy Research Associates estimates the production loss caused by Katrina could be offset if every consumer would lower his home thermostat by two degrees.