With a sharp decline in upstream activity foreshadowing a potential curtailment in domestic production, and with summer cooling demand just around the corner, natural gas forwards rallied during the May 11-17 trading period, NGI’s Forward Look data show.

Week/week fixed price gains of 20 cents or more were widespread throughout the Lower 48; benchmark Henry Hub rose 17.7 cents for June delivery to end at $2.370/MMBtu.

Last week’s news of a 16-rig decline in natural gas-directed drilling in the latest Baker Hughes Co. data catalyzed a move higher for futures prices, and regional hubs rallied accordingly during the May 11-17 trading period.

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The sudden drop-off...