From the Energy Information Administration:
for week ending April 5, 2017 | Release date: April 6, 2017 | Next release: April 13, 2017 |
In the News:
Heating season spot prices in 2016–17 averaged 52% higher than in 2015–16
U.S. benchmark natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub averaged $3.01 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) during the 2016–17 season, 52% ($1.03) higher than prices during the same period in 2015–16. Henry Hub spot prices began the 2016–17 season closer to last year's levels, around $2.00–$2.50/MMBtu. Both years began the heating season with historically high levels of working natural gas in storage, which typically puts downward pressure on prices.
In 2016, prices rose rapidly during the second half of November and first week in December, compared with the relatively flat prices at the same time in 2015. December 2016 spot prices at the Henry Hub averaged more than $3.50/MMBtu compared with $1.98/MMBtu in 2015, as weather that was colder than in December 2015 pushed up heating demand.
Henry Hub spot prices fell back below $3.50/MMBtu in January 2017 as temperatures warmed, and declined further during the second-warmest February on record. However, January and February 2016 were also warmer than normal. In 2016, the Henry Hub spot price remained below $2.00/MMBtu for the latter half of February and all of March 2016. March 2017 prices averaged $2.87/MMBtu and ended the month at $3.10, more than a dollar higher than the March 2016 closing price of $1.93/MMBtu.
During the 2016–17 heating season, total natural gas demand was near the same level as the 2015–16 heating season, with year-over-year decreases in power burn roughly offset by increases in U.S. exports, according to data from PointLogic. However, natural gas production in the Lower 48 states during the 2016–17 heating season averaged over 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) below production in the 2015–16 season. With imports of Canadian natural gas averaging 0.2 Bcf/d above last year, most of this supply shortfall was met by withdrawing greater volumes of natural gas from storage....MUCH MORE
Prices up across the nation.
This report week (Wednesday, March 29 to Wednesday, April 5), the Henry Hub spot price rose 18¢ from $3.03/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.21/MMBtu yesterday.
Over the report period, prices at the Chicago Citygate increased 21¢ to $3.24/MMBtu yesterday. Prices at PG&E Citygate in Northern California gained 19¢ to $3.39/MMBtu yesterday. The price at SoCal Citygate rose 31¢ to $3.32/MMBtu yesterday.
Late in the report week, temperatures fell in the Northeast and in the western half of the country, which generally pushed natural gas prices up. According to trade press, price increases on Tuesday and yesterday can be attributed to various factors, including near-term colder weather, nuclear outages, strong electric-sector demand, and strong export demand....MUCH MORE