Strong natural gas prices continue this week due to the remaining cold temperatures and rising crude oil prices. For the week (Wednesday to Wednesday), spot prices at the Henry Hub increased 9 cents per million British thermal units (mmBtu), or about 1 percent, to $7.08. The price is $1.48, or 26 percent, above last year's level which is similar to most markets in the Lower 48 States. This is the last week of the traditional heating season. The build season is the period from April to September when heating fuel demand is usually less which allows stocks to build.
The amount of natural gas in storage in the East Region decreased 10.6% for the week ending March 11 to 659 billion cubic feet which was 84 billion cubic feet above the 5-year average. Nebraska is a part of the East Region (see map) which is a major natural gas consumer, particularly in the residential and commercial sectors. The industrial sector, which includes agriculture, is also a major consumer in this state. Most of the gas is supplied from the Producing Region with a fair amount imported from Canada. The Henry Hub in southern Louisiana is a major market center with interconnections for many of the pipelines that transport U.S.-produced gas to the East Region. Furthermore, the Henry Hub is the preferred reference point for prices for most of the domestic gas destined for the East. Therefore, market conditions and developments in the East Region and price movements and trends at the Henry Hub are usually highly correlated.
Notes: An archive is available. Divide the price by ten (10) to obtain the price per hundred cubic feet (ccf) or the approximate price per therm.