A new year brought a new outlook to regional natural gas forwards markets during the Dec. 28-Jan. 3 period, NGI’s Forward Look data show.

Coming off a balmy December, forecasts during the period teased the arrival of markedly more winter-like conditions through this month, and traders responded by locking in double digit near month fixed price gains across the Lower 48.

February fixed prices at benchmark Henry Hub jumped 22.4 cents for the period to reach $2.682/MMBtu.

Has Winter Finally Arrived?

Forward gains were especially pronounced in the western Lower 48, where traders have shown sensitivity to upside risks in the wake of price spikes during the 2022/23 winter. 

Basis premiums at hubs including Northwest Sumas, Malin, Opal, PG&E Citygate and SoCal Citygate all...