North American natural gas futures gained some ground this week with signs that U.S. production was scaling back, but still held under $2.00/MMBtu.

The longer term picture remains bearish, at least for this year. This week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its projected average Henry Hub natural gas spot price to $2.20 for 2024, down 5.2% from a month earlier.

In the April release of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), published Tuesday, EIA said it expects spot prices at the national benchmark to average less than $2 during the second quarter. This is mainly because of a glut of supply after a warm winter and high storage inventories.

“From April through October this year, we forecast less natural gas will be injected into storage than is typical,...