Earlier this week there was some chatter about how the Energy Information Agency had discovered a flaw in its accounting of natural gas in the ground, and that potentially there could be a lot less than thought.Actually, all everyone says is that there’s “unlimited” natural gas out there, so just the mere suggestion that the supply was finite seemed to be a really big deal.
Well, it seemed to be.
But we noted that the market wasn’t reacting to the news at all. And beyond that, the real story right now is that natural gas storage facilities filled to the brim, so it really doesn’t matter how much there is in the ground for the foreseeable future, so long as there’s no place to store it.
And now it’s come full circle.
Check out what the EIA reported today in its short-term energy outlook:
EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average $4.44 per million Btu (MMBtu) this year, a $0.49-per-MMBtu increase over the 2009 average, but a significant downward revision from the $5.17 per MMBtu projected in last month’s Outlook. The price outlook is lower primarily because of an average 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) upward revision to the 2010 domestic natural gas production forecast.
So there’s MORE gas coming than thought. Perhaps by some measure there isn’t an infinite amount of natural gas in the ground, but in the meantime, storage facilities are bursting at the seems, and pumping is increasing.
Just more pain for longsuffering UNG (UNG) holders.
Until we actually have a way of turning all the natural gas in the ground into usable fuel for the economy, then this issue will persist (or so it would seem), and sadly the T. Boone Pickens-approved natural gas bill won’t accomplish jack.
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