Hurricane Irene May Reduce Natural Gas Consumption


simminch via Flickr

The weather forecasts predict that the upcoming Hurricane Irene will strike North Carolina coming Saturday. Some predict that the upcoming Hurricane will reduce demand for natural gas as the rain and wind will curb the electricity demand for cooling households.

On the other hand, the Hurricane might damage natural gas pipelines and cause NG production shutdown.

This means this Hurricane might affect either way on the price of natural gas in the upcoming week. 

 Natural gas Storage

 The NG storage (Billion Cubic Feet) continues stocking up as it rose for the twentieth straight week; last week by 2.6% or by 73 Bcf; thus, the NG storage rose to 2,906 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states – the highest stock level since January 7th, 2011.  


 There was a slight increase in natural gas consumption last week: despite the stabilised temperatures, the U.S. domestic NG consumption inclined by 4.3% over the week with the power sector leading the charge with a 10% increase week over week – the gains in the power sectors were mostly in Texas with its summer heat wave.   

 Production and Imports

 The U.S. total nominal gas supply slightly inclined by 0.7% (W-o-W); dry gas production nearly didn’t change as it reached 62.4 Bcf per day – an increased of 0.3% compared with the production rate a week before. The Domestic dry gas production currently stands on 6.8% above this time last year.

 NG imports from Canada inclined by 3.8%last week compared with the previous week’s average to an average of 5.7 Bcf per day, but they are still 16.6% below the same week last year. The LNG imports didn’t change much as well and reached an average of 0.4 Bcf per day – 56.9% below the same week in 2010.  

Prices for the week ending August 19th  

 NG spot (Henry Hub) decreased during the week by 2.09% and reached on Friday $3.99/mmbtu; its weekly average price was 1.91% below the previous week’s average price.

The  Henry Hub Future (September delivery) also fell by 1.48% during the week, but its average price was 1.77% below last week’s average price.

 A detailed analysis of natural gas prices for the week of August 19th is herein.

 To sum up, natural gas storage, production, imports and consumption inclined while natural gas prices fell during the week of August 19th.

Lior Cohen, M.A. commodities analyst and blogger at Trading NRG.