Nearly all downstream trading locations registered higher prices as consumption increased over the week. The Northeast, hit simultaneously with record-high temperatures, pipeline maintenance, and nuclear outages, saw prices at some locations more than triple. Spot prices at the Algonquin Citygate for delivery into Boston, which began the week at $2.50 per MMBtu, surged from $3.25 per MMBtu on Monday to $7.00 per MMBtu on Tuesday and finished the week up $6.37 per MMBTU (254.8 percent), closing at $8.87 per MMBtu yesterday. Spot prices at Transcontinental Pipeline’s Zone 6 trading point for delivery into New York City, which started the week at $2.33 per MMBtu, gained $1.78 per MMBtu over the week to close yesterday at $4.11 per MMBtu (up 76.4 percent). The Chicago citygate spot price was more in line with the Henry Hub price, registering a 45-cent per MMBtu price gain (from $2.20 per MMBtu last Wednesday) and ending the week at $2.65 per MMBtu (up 20.5 percent).
Total domestic consumption increased over the week, led by the Northeast. According to estimates from Bentek, domestic natural gas consumption increased by 2.3 percent from last week. The increase was attributed primarily to a 7.1 percent increase in natural gas consumption for power generation, with natural gas consumption in the industrial and residential/commercial sectors down 0.9 and 5.0 percent, respectively. With temperatures in the 100-degree range hitting parts of the Northeast on Tuesday and Wednesday, natural gas used for power burn in this region increased significantly, gaining 47.2 percent between Monday and yesterday. All regions of the country posted power burn increases over the reporting period, but the Northeast increase was by far the largest volumetrically.
Total supply was up slightly for the week, due to higher domestic dry gas production. According to Bentek estimates, the week’s average total natural gas supply increased by 1.0 percent from last week’s level, led by a 0.9 percent increase in dry gas production. Dry gas production averaged 63.9 Bcf per day, 3.9 percent above this time last year. Despite a 37.6 percent increase in imports from Canada into the Northeast, overall imports from Canada were down 1.0 percent for the week, averaging 6.0 Bcf per day over the period. Imports from Canada stand 28.2 percent above year-ago volumes for the same week. There was a 55.6 increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply during the week, with sendout averaging 368 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day. Sendout volumes remain 62.4 percent below year-ago levels.