MARKET WATCH: Natural gas prices stay above $6/MMbtu

Natural gas futures prices settled lower Feb. 20 but still remained above $6/MMbtu on the New York market after a weekly government report showed underground gas storage volumes stayed slightly higher than analysts had expected given this winter’s snowstorms and freezing temperatures.

The gas storage level has reached its lowest for any week in February since 2004, the US Energy Information Administration said. EIA reported a draw of 250 bcf for a total of 1.443 tcf in gas storage for the week ended Feb. 14 (OGJ Online, Feb. 20, 2014).

A harsh winter across the central and eastern US continues to trigger high demand for heating oil and natural gas to warm homes and businesses. Forecasters are calling for more freezing temperatures next week.

Crude oil prices on both the New York and London markets declined modestly on Feb. 20 after having climbed earlier in the week. The premium of Brent to US light, sweet crude for April delivered narrowed to $7.55/bbl in Feb. 20 settlements.

"We continue to view the current level in the spread as a potential equilibrium," said Tim Evans, energy markets strategist at Citi Futures. He said Brent prices await direction from Libya, where exports have been drastically reduced due to labor unrest.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange March crude contract dropped 39¢ to settle at $102.92/bbl. The April contract was $102.75/bbl, down 9¢ for the Feb. 20 closing.

Heating oil for March delivery was up 3¢ to a rounded $3.18/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for March delivery climbed 2.19¢ to a rounded $2.85/gal.

The March natural gas contract on NYMEX decreased 8.5¢ to a rounded $6.06/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub dropped to a rounded $5.92/MMbtu on Feb. 20, down 5¢.

In London, the April ICE contract for Brent gave up 17¢ to $110.30/bbl. The May contract was down 15¢ to close at $109.98/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for March dropped $3 to $937.50/tonne.

The Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $106.79/bbl on Feb. 19, down 36¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

Market watch: Energy futures prices rose slightly Friday

05/06/2002 Crude oil futures prices rose slightly Friday amid lingering uncertainty about a possible disruption of Middle East supplies, although tensions in ...

Gulf of Mexico oil service sector showing signs of an upturn

05/06/2002 The Gulf of Mexico oil service sector is experiencing the signs of an upturn, analysts with Simmons & Co. International, UBS Warburg LLC, and RBC D...

OTC: Industry, national agencies need to work together to make FPSOs work in the gulf

05/06/2002 Over the coming years, the oil and gas industry will have to keep an open line of communication with national agencies such as the US Coast Guard a...

Market watch: Energy futures prices fall as Iraq lifts embargo

05/07/2002 Crude oil futures prices fell Monday after Iraq announced plans to lift a self-imposed export embargo with exports expected to resume by Wednesday.

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected