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Winter Natural Gas Supply Called 'Abundant'

U.S. utilities will have plenty of natural gas to meet consumer demand this winter, the American Gas Association said Monday.

"This winter's supply of natural gas is abundant," the trade group said in its winter forecast.

At a briefing for reporters, the group's officials pointed out that utilities acquired and put into storage some of the gas they will send to homes and businesses this winter earlier in the year, when prices were higher than at present.

The AGA said it expects consumers who warm their homes with natural gas to pay on average $881 in heating fuel expenses this winter, up 6 percent or about $50 more than last winter.

"Are we challenged for this winter? Not from the standpoint of reliably supplying customer demand," said Chris McGill, managing director for policy analysis at AGA. "But we need to keep in mind that costs are higher today than when compared to history."

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