Natural gas prices generally fell at most market locations this report week (Wednesday, July 23—Wednesday, July 30). The Henry Hub spot price declined from $3.79 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last Wednesday to $3.76/MMBtu yesterday.

Natural gas, Henry Hub fall again this week

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the August 2014 contract began the report week on July 23 at $3.762/MMBtu. September took over as the front-month contract yesterday, supplanting the August contract, which settled at expiration on July 29 at $3.808/MMBtu. The September futures contract closed at $3.786/MMBtu yesterday. The price of the 12-month strip increased, from $3.855/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.863/MMBtu yesterday.

Working natural gas in storage rose to 2,307 Bcf as of Friday, July 25, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). A net increase in storage of 88 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week resulted in storage levels 18.7% below year-ago levels and 21.7% below the 5-year average for this week.

The Baker Hughes rotary rig count increased by 12 to 1,883 active units this week. Natural gas rigs increased by 3 to 318, and oil rigs increased by 8 to 1,562. Gas rigs are 51 units below last year's level, and oil rigs are 161 units greater than last year's level.

The average daily Mont Belvieu, Texas, natural gas plant liquids composite price for the week covering July 21 - July 25 decreased by 7 cents/MMBtu (0.7%) to $9.61/MMBtu. An 8.4% decline in the price of ethane lead the overall decline. Butane and isobutane fell by 1.0% and 0.4%, while propane and natural gasoline rose by 0.2% and 1.9%.