Contracts tied to North American natural gas prices saw record open interest on Wednesday (Aug. 25), according to Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE).

Henry Hub Prices

Open interest for ICE’s North American natural gas futures and options, which include Henry Hub and U.S. basis markets contracts, saw an unprecedented open interest of 23 million lots. Altogether, that represents a 10% year/year rise in open interest, with Henry Hub futures and options up 28% over last year.

The news comes as European prices have hit record highs this summer amid low inventories and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply crunch. Prices in Asia are also trending higher as demand for LNG has stayed strong over the summer.

Still, high prices have yet to put a damper on interest in European contracts. Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) natural gas futures reached record open interest of almost 3.3 million contracts on Aug. 25, ICE said. That represents a 22% year/year increase and reflects “the importance of TTF in managing global gas price risk,” according to ICE.

Meanwhile, open interest on the Japan Korea Marker (JKM) is up 26% year/year, ICE said. ICE has reported record levels of TTF and JKM trading over the past several months as the global LNG market has heated up. In June, ICE extended its forward curve for TTF by more than 18 months following requests from customers.