Rockies are a dividing line for prices. Most natural gas prices in the East, Midwest, and South rose moderately over the week. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $3.17/MMBtu last week to $3.26/MMBtu yesterday. However, midweek, Henry Hub spot prices reached a weekly low on Friday, February 27 of $2.77/MMBtu before bouncing back by the end of the week. Forecasts for cold weather and winter storms on Thursday in the eastern half of the country likely led to the increase in prices. At the Chicago Citygate, the natural gas price rose from $4.62/MMBtu last Wednesday to $4.98/MMBtu yesterday. In the West, however, forecasts called for warmer weather in the coming days. At the Opal Hub in Wyoming, prices fell from $2.96/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.82/MMBtu yesterday. Similarly, at the PG&E Citygate in San Franciso, prices fell from $3.16/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.98/MMBtu yesterday.
Prices at major market locations in the Northeast post overall declines, but prices are volatile. At the Algonquin Citygate, which serves Boston consumers, prices declined from $25.42/MMBtu last Wednesday to $7.13 Tuesday, then rose to $13.98/MMBtu on Wednesday on forecasts for cold weather and snow. Similarly, at the Transcontinental Zone 6 trading point for delivery into New York City, prices began the week at $23.68/MMBtu before dropping to a weekly low of $3.45/MMBtu on Friday, then rose to $15.83/MMBtu yesterday.
Marcellus-area prices go lower. At Tennessee's Zone 4 trading region, which represents Marcellus deliveries on Tennessee's pipeline system, prices began the week at $1.50/MMBtu, then bottomed out at 98¢/MMBtu on Friday before ending the week at $1.30 /MMBtu. Prices at Dominion South, which serves customers in portions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, increased from $2.87/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.05/MMBtu yesterday. On Transco's Leidy Line, prices began the week at $1.58/MMBtu, then fell to end the week at $1.38/MMBtu, for an overall loss of 20¢. While Marcellus production remains strong, last week Chesapeake Energy said it would reduce its Marcellus drilling this year because of low prices in the area.
Nymex prices decline. At the Nymex, the April 2015 contract moved into the near-month position on February 26. The March contract expired on February 25 at $2.894/MMBtu, after rising 17.4¢ during its tenure as the near-month contract, but was still relatively low. The April contract declined this week from $2.862/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.769/MMBtu yesterday. The 12-month strip (the average of the 12 contracts between April 2015 and March 2016) fell from $3.071/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.009/MMBtu yesterday.
Supply declines. Total natural gas supply declined 1.3% from last week. Dry production declined 0.4% from last week, but is 8.3% greater than the same week last year. Canadian imports declined 5.7% from the previous week, as overall temperatures this week were milder and demand fell. Imports in the Midwest and Northeast declined by 18.3% and 18.2%, respectively, while imports in the West rose by 8.0%. LNG sendout also declined from last week by 41.2%.
Across all sectors, consumption falls. Consumption began the week at relatively high levels but fell as temperatures moderated in the second half of the report week. Total domestic consumption fell 7.3% week over week, and was 0.5% less than the same week last year. Residential and commercial consumption fell 10.9% from last week, with consumption beginning the report week high, then dropping drastically. Consumption of gas for electric power generation fell 3.7%, while industrial consumption declined 1.8%.