Prices vary slightly, but flat in many market locations. At the start of the report week, temperatures were generally above average in the East, South, and West, though below average in the Midwest and Rockies. Temperatures remained moderate in the central states and dropped some in most other regions, with the exception of the Northeast, which remained above average. The Henry Hub spot price began the report week at $2.73/MMBtu last Wednesday and settled yesterday down slightly at $2.72/MMBtu. Prices at other market locations also declined slightly. Spot prices at the Chicago Citygate decreased by 4¢ Wednesday-to-Wednesday, closing yesterday at $2.81/MMBtu. Prices at PG&E Citygate, serving Northern California, declined from $3.18/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.12/MMBtu yesterday. Of note, the trading point Sumas, which is the primary border crossing for natural gas from Canada to Washington state, serving the Pacific Northwest, saw a rise from $2.07/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.53/MMBtu yesterday because of supply constraints on the Canadian side.
Northeast prices respond to increased power burn. In the Northeast, prices fluctuated during the report week in response to varying temperatures, with New York and New England seeing above average temperatures for part of the week. New England spot prices also responded to an increased demand for natural gas because of an outage at the Pilgrim-1 nuclear power station, near Plymouth, Massachusetts, which started on Saturday, August 22, and ended yesterday. Gas prices at the Algonquin Citygate, which serves Boston, started the report week at $2.62/MMBtu, decreased to $2.35/MMBtu for the weekend, then rose on Tuesday, because of above-average temperatures and increased power sector demand, to $3.29/MMBtu, and settled at $3.06/MMBtu yesterday. Similarly, at the Tennessee Zone 6 200L serving lower New England, prices fluctuated during the report week, starting last Wednesday at $2.53/MMBtu, increasing to $3.22/MMBtu on Tuesday, and settling yesterday at $3.02/MMBtu. At Transcontinental Pipeline's Zone 6, serving New York City, the spot price started the report week at $2.73/MMBtu and ended the report week yesterday at $2.66/MMBtu.
Marcellus prices rise, but still low. While Marcellus-area prices rose through the report week by as much as 31%, they are still relatively low. At Tennessee’s Zone 4 Marcellus location, prices increased from 78¢/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.02/MMBtu yesterday. On the Transco Leidy Line, prices started the week at 77¢/MMBtu last Wednesday and rose 24¢, to $1.01 yesterday. At Dominion South, which serves customers in portions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, prices remained flat for most of the week, starting at $1.22/MMBtu, then fluctuating slightly to end the report week at $1.18/MMBtu.
Nymex prices decline. At the Nymex, the September contract began the week at $2.716/MMBtu and fell 2¢ to close at $2.693 /MMBtu yesterday. The October contract, which becomes the prompt month contract tomorrow, opened today at $2.703/MMBtu. The 12-month strip, which averages the September 2015 through August 2016 Nymex prices, also declined through the week to close at $2.879/MMBtu yesterday, down 5¢/MMBtu from the week-ago price.
Supply decreased slightly. Dry natural gas production increased by 0.4% this week and averaged 72.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), 4% higher than last year’s level for the same week, according to Bentek Energy data. Imports of natural gas from Canada were down in all regions, decreasing 6% week-over-week. LNG sendout decreased by 15% over the previous week, with the effect on supply remaining marginal. Overall, total supply was down for the week by 0.2%, though it was 4% greater than the same period last year.
Consumption decreases. U.S. consumption decreased 6% for the week, led by an 11% decrease in the power sector. Consumption of natural gas for power generation (power burn) decreased in all regions, except for the Southeast, which had a 0.3% increase over the preceding week. Led by a reduction of 61% in the Midwest, total power burn was down 11% week-over-week, and down 0.8% from the same week last year. Industrial consumption declined slightly by 0.8%, and was 2% lower than the same week last year. Exports to Mexico averaged 2.9 Bcf/d, a 1.4% decrease from the previous week, but 41% higher than exports for the same week last year.