December Natural Gas Report

Storage Levels Continue to Grow

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a rare late-season injection of 10 Billion Cubic Feet (Bcf) into storage for the week ended November 24th.  Expectations were for a 10 Bcf withdrawal due to the colder temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Current storage inventory is at 3,836 Bcf which is nearly 9% above the five-year average.

Record Production and Modest Demand Keeping Gas Prices Lower

Strong gas production levels, less widespread demand and high storage levels are keeping natural gas prices lower.  The winter NYMEX Henry Hub Futures Contract prices are averaging around $2.80 per MMBtu.  With the basis added to convert to Mid-continent pricing, projected monthly prices are currently averaging below $3.50/MMBtu.

Daily Index Prices React to Cold Snaps

However, anomalies in the daily index market have occurred coast to coast over the past 45 days.  With the below-normal temperatures at the end of October, mid-continent daily prices jumped $1.30 over the last 7 days of October, reaching the $3.135/MMBtu mark.  Colder weather over the Thanksgiving holiday also saw daily prices increase by 30¢ per MMBtu.

Most forecasts are calling for warmer than average temperatures for the 2023-2024 winter.  There will be cold snaps along the way.  The daily index market is still showing some built-in fear built and could result in sporadic volatility.  Under the Wood River gas supply contract, the exposure to the volatility of the daily index market has been greatly reduced.