Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cold Snap Expected to Boost Heating Demand....Natural Gas Prices Jump to 11 Month High

Benchmark U.S. natural gas prices rose sharply over the past week, touching the highest levels in nearly 11 months, on expectations colder weather will stoke heating demand, the Energy Information Administration said.

Henry Hub gas as of October 24 was $3.43 per million British thermal units, up 19 cents from a week earlier. Prices at many trading points rose on "news of a coming cold snap," the EIA said. On October 22, Henry Hub gas hit $3.49, the highest since late November.

In NYMEX futures trading October 25, November gas fell 1.6 cents to $3.434, down 5.1% from $3.617 at the end of last week and the lowest settlement in nearly three weeks.

Gas prices were up even as above average temperatures in much of the U.S. tempered consumption. During the week ended October 24, total U.S. gas demand fell 2.9% from the previous week, led by a drop of 4.8% in residential and commercial use, with temperatures averaging about 1 degree Fahrenheit above normal.

Working natural gas in underground storage increased to 3.843 trillion cubic feet as of October 19, an implied net injection of 67 billion cubic feet from the previous week, 4.1% over year ago levels and 7% over the five-year average for that date.

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