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NEW YORK: US natural gas futures eased about 1% on Tuesday on signs producers were no longer cutting output and worries the bankruptcy of a contractor working on Exxon Mobil/QatarEnergies’ Golden Pass LNG export plant in Texas could delay the project and reduce expected demand for gas next year.

Zachry Holdings, one of the companies building Golden Pass, filed for bankruptcy citing challenges at the project. Analysts have already shifted their expected startup of the project from the first half of 2025 to the second half of 2025.

In addition, traders said gas futures were down as speculators cash in their long bets after prices soared about 63% over the prior three weeks to a four-month high in the prior session.

Front-month gas futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 1.3 cents, or 0.5%, to $2.738 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT). On Monday, the contract closed at its highest since Jan. 17.

Despite the small price decline, the front-month remained in technically overbought territory for a 13th day in a row for the first time since April 2022.

In other news, more than 146,000 homes and businesses in Texas were still without power on Tuesday after severe storms battered the region last week and over the weekend.

Power demand in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, meanwhile, hit a preliminary record high for the month of May on Monday and will likely keep breaking that high over the next week as homes and businesses keep their air conditioners cranked up to escape a spring heat wave.

In Massachusetts, utility regulators last week approved a deal between US energy company Constellation Energy and some New England gas utilities that will keep the Everett LNG import plant in service through 2030 to help keep the regional gas system reliable and meet growing demand, especially during the peak winter heating seasons.

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