Natural gas price resumed its downward trend and sharply declined during most of last week. Furthermore, natural gas storage continued to increase and is still well above the storage levels from recent years.
Here is a summary of the recent U.S natural gas market provided by the EIA regarding the week ending on March 30th:
Natural Gas Storage
The underground natural gas storage (Billion Cubic Feet) continued to stock up for the second consecutive weeks, last week the storage levels rose by 2.39% or by 42 Bcf; the natural gas storage settled at 2,479 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states; the current natural gas storage is 60.5% above the 5-year average, and is also 55.7% above the storage level during the same week in 2011. As a comparison, during the same week in March 2011 the total natural gas extraction was 45 Bcf. This means at the current stage the gap between the normal storage levels and the current level will continues to widen.
The increase in storage was primarily due to a 26 Bcf injection from the producing region natural gas storage.
In the following chart are the developments in natural gas storage (weekly figures) and Henry Hub natural gas prices between the years 2011 and 2012. During last week the Henry Hub spot price fell by 4.6% to a weekly average price of $2.06/mmbtu. Furthermore, the Henry Hub price was $2.24/mmbtu below its price level the same week in 2011.
The average U.S natural gas consumption, on a national level, slightly rose by 2.89% (week over week) during last week. The residential/commercial sectors led the rise with a 5.76% increase. The total demand for gas was 2.82% above the levels from the previous week but was 14.8% below the levels of the same week in 2011.
Production and Imports
Imports of natural gas fromCanadarose during last week by 10.74%; on the other hand the imports were 4.41% below the levels in 2011.
The gross natural gas production edged down last week by 0.82%, and is 3.9% above the production level in 2011. As a result the total supply of natural gas decreased by 0.41% during last week.
According to the report the natural gas rotary rig count rose by 6; by the end of last week the number of natural gas rigs reached 658 – a first increase after 11 consecutive weeks of decline.
On a national level, the UStemperatures were still 7.7 degrees warmer than 30-year normal, and 13.9 degrees warmer from the same week last year.
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