Even with three days of flat to much stronger pricing Monday through Wednesday, only Marcellus Shale numbers in northeast Pennsylvania were able to eke out a small gain during the week ending Thursday. Other plays fell 6-12 cents during that period.
The Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania was the only part in the Shale Price Indices chart by NGI's Shale Daily to realize a price gain (3 cents to $3.65) from the Oct. 20 trading date through last Wednesday. The southwest Pennsylvania-West Virginia section of the Marcellus declined 9 cents to $3.50 but still maintained a premium of at least 18 cents above the next-highest non-Marcellus plays.
Fayetteville was the Midcontinent's only play falling by less than a dime (7 cents) in that period, while Arkoma-Woodford, Cana-Woodford and Granite Wash were down by a dime, 12 cents and 11 cents, respectively.
Even after dropping 9 cents to $3.32, Eagle Ford remained the Gulf Coast's highest-priced shale, but just barely. Barnett and Haynesville-East Texas, each down 9 cents, were right behind Eagle Ford with averages of $3.31, and Haynesville-North Louisiana slid 8 cents to $3.30. The three Rockies plays continued to anchor the bottom of the shale price list, dropping 6 cents each to $3.27 in the Green River and Piceance basins and 8 cents to $3.22 in Uinta Basin.
Where shale gas prices go from here is yet to be determined, but natural gas market bulls had to be happy with what they saw in Thursday's futures market.
After weeks of declines culminating in the November contract threatening to break below $3/MMBtu earlier this week, the December contract, which took over as the prompt month on Thursday, showed signs of life.
After the Energy Information Administration reported that 71 Bcf was injected into underground storage for the week ending Oct. 22, December futures lurched higher, reaching a high of $3.924 before closing out the regular session at $3.890, up 12.7 cents from Wednesday's close.