Natural gas futures rose Monday, climbing for the fourth straight session, as traders bet that a powerful winter storm moving toward the East Coast, along with a recent cold spell, would boost demand for the heating fuel.
Natural gas for December delivery fell 5.1 cents to settle at $3.566 per million British thermal units in New York yesterday, breaking a six-day streak of gains, after prices on Tuesday rose to $3.617, the highest closing price since Oct.30.
Natural gas futures dropped from a two-week high in New York amid speculation that a government report tomorrow will show a U.S. inventory gain that’s above average for this time of year.
Gas slid 1.4 percent as the Energy Information Administration may say stockpiles expanded by 22 billion cubic feet last week, based on the median of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Estimates ranged from gains of 2 billion to 33 billion. The five-year average injection for the week is 19 billion. Supplies fell 12 billion a year earlier.
The story of U.S. natural gas gets referenced a lot but you may not know whats going on. Here are 15 charts that tell the story of the U.S. natural gas market which has been completely changed by the rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
In the past few years, new technologies and cheaper costs allowed producers to access gas trapped in parts of the U.S. previously considered unreachable.
Unconventional treasure: Shale gas is trapped deep inside rock formations.
Shale gas is a new and abundant source of natural gas, trapped in rock formations. Oil companies have known about it for decades but always dismissed it because it was too expensive and difficult to extract.
In the past few years new technologies that pump water underground to fracture the rock and free the gas have been perfected. The breakthrough has opened a new frontier for the energy industry and turned long-held assumptions about the world’s dwindling supplies on their head.
via Shale gas blasts open world energy market on Propurchaser
Japan, the world’s biggest importer of LNG, pays about $18 per British thermal units, versus$10 in Europe and $3~4 in the U.S. It is tired of paying such a price for a resource that has become so important. So Japan is preparing to launch the first LNG futures market.
The low price in the U.S. is due to the shale gas boom in the country and to the fact that the gas does not need to be liquefied. In Europe, there are spot markets for LNG which constantly take into account the state of supply and demand.
Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has lifted restrictions on the controversial practice of shale gas hydraulic fracturing, giving a green light to drilling, in a country that consumes the most gas in the EU but where conventional gas reserves are dwindling.
From a net exporter, the UK has become an importer. Promises of shale gas from Cuadrilla Resources, a small British company, could increase energy independence. Some hope that domestic shale gas production could reduce prices by 2% to 4% from 2021. But there is a world between promises and reality.
Plunging prices have turned the U.S. into one of the most profitable places in the world to make chemicals and fertilizer, industries that use gas as both a feedstock and an energy source. And they have slashed costs for makers of energy-intensive products such as aluminum, steel and glass.
“The U.S. is now going to be the low-cost industrialized country for energy,” the energy economist Philip Verleger says. “This creates a base for stronger economic growth in the United States than the rest of the industrialized world.
On September 7th 2012, the European Commission published three new studies on unconventional fossil fuels, in particular shale gas. The studies look at the potential effects of these fuels on energy markets , the potential climate impact of shale gas production , and the potential risks shale gas developments and associated hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) may present to human health and the environment .
It had been hoped that the controversial fracking technique could allow Europe to match the US’s success in extracting natural gas from shale rocks. Now the European Commission says that, at best, Europe’s shale gas will only compensate for its slowing production of conventional gas. Europe will still have to import 60 per cent of its needs.
Demand for natural gas has not kept up with the phenomenal growth in supply. Thats indicated by the extremely low current price and the thousands of recently developed unconventional natural gas wells that are shut-in. Unconventional natural gas production from “dry” wells those that dont produce useful petroleum liquid products is at a virtual standstill.
This signals that some recovery in North American natural gas prices is likely—to the range of $4 per thousand cubic feet, perhaps—which would be welcomed by producers. Consumers who heat their homes with gas, and chemical companies and other manufacturers who rely on this raw material for producing petrochemical and polymers, should enjoy several decades of abundant supply.
U.S. natural gas inventory sharply decreased in recent months leading to an increase of Henry Hub gas prices of 60% in three months, to 3.10 dollars per million BTU, against 1.90 dollar last April, when it reached its lowest level in ten years.
Gas demand in the United States has been favored in recent months by a hot summer, driving an increase in electricity consumption for air conditioning, and by low gas prices prompting power plants to shift from coal to gas.