Physical natural gas prices Wednesday for Thursday delivery fell an average of 8 cents nationally as double-digit, power-driven declines in the East and Northeast prompted declines in next-day gas that at some points exceeded $1.00. On the West Coast, however, prices made small advances as the independent system operator predicted high next-day power loads. At the close of trading the expiring July contract had added 6.0 cents to $3.707 and August rose 6.7 cents to $3.737. August crude oil gained 18 cents to $95.50/bbl.
Articles from Nationally
Physical natural gas prices fell nationally on average by approximately 6 cents in Thursday’s trading for Friday delivery, and although futures traders usually get their deals done prior to the release of storage data, the July contract was already down 6 cents prior to the release of the government inventory data.
Physical natural gas prices Wednesday rose on average nationally by nearly 3 cents, and most points recorded gains ranging from fractional increases to a few pennies, while more than a handful of locations experienced small losses. Great Lakes and eastern points managed gains of 2-3 cents, but New England couldn’t escape the grip of a soft power market and it was flat to a penny lower. At the close of futures trading, July had added 5.8 cents to $3.963 and August was up 5.8 cents as well to $3.985. July crude oil slipped 20 cents to $98.24/bbl.
Physical natural gas prices nationally rose on average by 8 cents Tuesday with Gulf points taking the lead. Great Lakes and eastern points were also strong, and at the close of futures trading, July had advanced 3.0 cents to $3.905 and August was 3.0 cents higher as well to $3.927. July crude oil gained 67 cents to $98.44/bbl.
Natural gas prices trending up nationally were cited by Minnesota-based Xcel Energy for its latest higher retail gas charges at its Colorado combination utility as part of its quarterly price adjustments for retail electric and gas rates. Overall, Xcel said total utility bills in Colorado will be lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, but on an annual basis, “a national trend in higher natural gas commodity prices” will continue to put upward pressure on utility bills. Under the quarterly gas cost adjustment, the cost of natural gas in the third quarter will be slightly higher than the second quarter, but because of a “significant drop” in use expected in the summer quarter, residential bills will be about $8 lower/month, compared to the current quarter, Xcel said. Residential gas bills in the third quarter will still be $3.15 more than they were in the third quarter last year. “Much of 2012 was marked by historically low gas prices,” Xcel said. Typical monthly residential and small business gas bills during the third quarter are expected to be $21.98 and $81.73, respectively, compared to average bills of $18.83 and $68.81, respectively, in the third quarter of 2012.
Natural gas cash prices nationally added on average a nickel in Tuesday’s trading as traders are beginning to see the dynamic of warm weather generating additional power generation requirements from gas-fired plants.
In the midst of one of the hottest summers on record nationally, high natural gas demand in the electric generation sector continues to dominate U.S. energy markets, but how much of this continues when temperatures cool in the fall will depend on the relative price of gas to coal and economic dispatch decisions by grid operators, according to RBN Energy LLC’s Sandy Fielden on the firm’s daily blog on Wednesday.
Continuing its basement-to-the-penthouse rise in the energy sector, North Dakota’s latest oil/gas production statistics make the state that had no drilling rigs operating in 1999 now the second biggest oil producer in the nation, trailing only Texas.
Physical natural gas prices advanced nationally by about a nickel Tuesday as traders cited a resilient prior-day futures screen and favorable storage differentials. Points across the country were up mostly by a dime or less, except for some eastern locations, which recorded moderate declines. Nuclear outages continued to remain high. At the close of futures trading April had eased 1.6 cents to $2.335 and May had given up 3.4 cents to $2.432. April crude oil tumbled $2.48 to $105.61/bbl.
Preliminary data released indicates that North Dakota oil and gas production continued to soar in January and the state now ranks third nationally in average daily oil production, surpassing California and following only Texas and Alaska. With the Bakken formation, North Dakota continues to ride the shale boom.