×

UPDATE 1-Colder winter to put upward pressure on US natgas prices-group

* U.S. gas demand to hit 83.8 bcf a day this winter

* U.S. gas production to be mostly flat this winter

(Adds details from report)

WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Colder U.S. weather should increase demand for natural gas this winter, placing slight upward pressure on prices, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

While last winter was one of the warmest on record, forecasters are predicting more traditional weather patterns this season, the Natural Gas Supply Association said in its annual winter outlook.

The return to colder weather should increase natural gas use by residential and commercial consumers 16 percent, the report said.

"The picture that emerged for this winter is one of increased demand for natural gas that is easily matched by ample production and gas in storage," said Greg Vesey, vice chairman of the natural gas association.

Overall, demand should hit 83.8 billion cubic feet a day this winter, up from 78 bcf a day last year, with natural gas consumption in the industrial and electric sectors expected to be mostly flat.

U.S. natural gas futures slid about 3 percent on Wednesday to some $3.42 per mmBtu on profit-taking after gaining more than 24 percent over six straight days of higher prices.

Although the number of wells completed this winter is projected to drop about 30 percent, gas production should be nearly the same as last year, the report said.

Booming shale gas production has dramatically increased U.S. natural gas supplies.

"Natural gas supply can now respond quite swiftly to changes in demand," said Vesey, who is also president of Chevron Natural Gas . "There are numerous completed wells in shale areas that are not yet producing natural gas but can be quickly accessed and flowing gas when the market calls for more supply."

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)

((ayesha.rascoe@thomsonreuters.com)(Twitter

@ayesharascoe)(202-310-5683)) Keywords: USA NATGAS/WINTER