Feared natural gas rally short-circuited by cool summer

Monday, September 08, 2014

At the onset of the summer, predictions of potentially sweltering heat had some analysts thinking natural gas could stage a new rally.

What a difference a few months can make.

Thanks to milder-than-expected temperatures, Henry Hub natural gas is now closer to $3 than the levels above $6 that sent utility bills soaring at the height of a frigid winter. In the last six weeks alone, Henry Hub prices, traded on the NYMEX, have plunged by about 20 percent.

Jackson expects new infrastructure to help alleviate price pressures in 2015 and beyond, while Bentek forecasts natural gas topping out this year just above $4 per MMBtu. Still, a lack of pipelines combined with unpredictable weather can easily unravel the benign scenario.

"That's not significantly higher from where we are now, but the weather can make a fool out of all of us," Jackson said.

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