EIA Natural Gas Market Summary - 3/19/2004


Published:

Natural gas spot prices increased since Wednesday, March 10, at most market locations in the Lower 48 States. For the week, prices at the Henry Hub increased 28 cents or about 5 percent to $5.61 per MMBtu. On March 17, the price of the NYMEX futures contract for April delivery at the Henry Hub settled at $5.722 per MMBtu, increasing roughly 33 cents or 6 percent since the previous Wednesday. Natural gas in storage decreased to 1097 Bcf as of March 12, which is less than 6 percent below the 5-year average. The spot price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil climbed $2.00 per barrel or about 6 percent since last Wednesday, to $38.21 per barrel or $6.588 per MMBtu.

Spot gas prices increased 2 to 8 percent since March 10, climbing between 11 and 46 cents per MMBtu, with increases exceeding 25 cents at most market locations. Factors contributing to the run-up in natural gas prices include wintry weather conditions blanketing most of the Northeast and Midwest regions and climbing crude oil prices, which increased $2 per barrel or 35 cents per MMBtu since Monday, March 15. The largest increases occurred principally in the intensive gas-consuming regions of the Northeast and Midwest. Some markets in Texas, Louisiana and California also had increases of more than 32 cents per MMBtu, despite relatively mild weather conditions in their respective regions. With these price hikes, prices at most market locations now exceed last year’s level by between 2 and 7 percent. For example, as of Wednesday, March 17, prices at the Henry Hub exceeded last year’s level by about 5 percent. Despite last week’s increases, prices remain well below the highs recorded in mid-January 2004, and have fallen roughly 5 to 10 percent at most market locations since the start of the new year.

At the NYMEX, the price of the futures contract for April delivery at the Henry Hub increased about 33 cents or 6 percent since March 10. Similarly, the price of the futures contracts for delivery through the refill season months (April-October) also increased between 28 and 33 cents per MMBtu or between 5 and 6 percent. At $5.722 per MMBtu, the price of the April contract is at its highest level since January 12, 2004, and the highest level for a near-month contract since January 28, 2004.

Working gas in storage was 1097 Bcf as of Friday, March 12, 2004, according to the EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. This is about 6 percent below the 5-year average for the report week and 461 Bcf above the level last year for the same week.The implied net withdrawal during the report week was 46 Bcf, which is 43 percent below than the 5-year average withdrawal of 81 Bcf for the week, and about 44 percent less than the withdrawal of 82 Bcf reported for the same week last year. Warmer-than-normal temperatures across most of the Lower 48 States outside of the East North Central Census Region likely contributed to the smaller-than-normal withdrawals of natural gas from storage.

Archive »Recent Articles

CNG Export Proposal Pending

A Morgan Stanley subsidiary has applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for a permit to export up to 60 Bfcy (1.7 x 109 m3/y) of compressed natural gas (CNG) gas from a proposed terminal near Freeport, Texas.

Cameron Sells Centrifugal Division to Ingersoll Rand

Cameron is selling its centrifugal compression division to Ingersoll Rand (IR) for US$850 million as part of a long-term business strategy to focus on its core markets.

U.S. Gas Exports to Mexico Set Record

U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico were a record 2.5 Bcfd (70.8 x106 m3/d) on July 24 and averaged 2.3 Bcfd (65.1 x106 m3/d) from June through August, more than double the pipeline flow in 2010.

USA Compression Orders More Horsepower

USA Compression Partners LP, Austin, said its fleet horsepower has increased 38.9% to 1.3 million hp (1000 MW), compared to the same period last year, aided in part by its acquisition of 138,000 hp (103 MW) from S&R Compression in August 2013.

Compressco Partners Improves Utilization Rate

Compressco Partners of Oklahoma City reported that its average compressor fleet utilization rate was 85.3% during the second quarter, compared to 82.6% in the same period of 2013.