The natural gas prices closed the month of September with sharp falls; these drops are probably also related to the improvement in the weather in the U.S especially the extreme temperatures.
Here is a summary of the recent U.S natural gas market EIA report regarding the week ending on September 30th:
Natural Gas Storage
The underground natural gas storage (Billion Cubic Feet) increased for the twenty-sixth straight week; last week by 2.9% or by 97 Bcf; the natural gas storage reached 3,409 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states – the highest stock level since December 10th, 2010; the current natural gas storage is 0.8% above the 5-year average, but is still 2.2% below the storage level during the same week in 2010.
This increase in storage was primarily due to a 61 Bcf injection in the Eastern Consuming Region natural gas storage.
The chart below shows the natural gas storage (weekly figures) and Henry Hub natural gas prices in 2011; the Henry Hub spot price continued the sharp downward trend during most of September, but on the last week of the month the Henry Hub spot price slightly inclined by 1.1% to an average weekly price of $3.81/mmbtu. The Henry Hub price was $0.02/mmbtu above its price level the same week in 2010.
US natural gas consumption moderately inclined on a national level by 1.2% over the week; the residential and commercial sectors led the charge with a double digit increment, while the power sector sharply fell in its NG consumption by 11.8%.
Production and Imports
The U.S. supply slightly slipped by 0.5% during last week; the domestic weekly dry gas production averaged 62.5 Bcf/day – a 0.7% drop; there was a slight increase in natural gas imports from Canada of 1.7% to an average of 5.6 Bcf/day; LNG imports remained nearly unchanged at an average of 476 million cubic feet/day.
According to the report the natural gas rig count grew by 11 during the week to reach 923.
The US temperatures were cooler than last week, and warmer than normal: they have reached a weekly average of 67.7 degrees for the week of September 29th; they were 3.7 degree warmer than normal, and 2.9 degrees colder than the temperatures from last year (same week).
Prices for the Week Ending September 30th
Nymex Henry Hub Future Price (October delivery) declined during the week by 2.96% and reached on Friday $3.67/mmbtu; its average daily change was -0.16%, but its weekly average price was 0.35% above the previous week’s average price.
Natural gas spot price (Henry Hub) fell by 3.42% during the week, but its average price was 0.95% above last week’s average price.
To sum up, natural gas storage, imports and consumption increased while natural gas production and prices slipped during the week of September 30th.
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