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Warmer Weather Triggers Latest Natural Gas Price Hike

Paul Partyka |

WASHINGTON — After viewing last month’s EIA (Energy Information Administration) short-term energy outlook, one couldn’t be blamed for being apprehensive about future projections. The July forecast was just issued and the government’s energy statistical arm has slightly revised its natural gas price projections for 2008.Natural gas prices are now expected to cost you about 65% more this year than last year. Three months ago, the EIA forecast a 16.5% hike in the price of natural gas from last year. By June, that projection had spiked to 52%. If you’re looking for any kind of good news, the EIA also believes that next year’s natural gas prices will be lower than this year’s current projected figure.The Henry Hub spot price averaged $13.07 per Mcf in June, $1.42 per Mcf above the average spot price in May. What triggered this latest bump?  In addition to continuing high oil prices, low LNG (liquefied natural gas) imports and a widening year-over-year storage deficit, summer cooling demand was strong in June, the EIA reports. Cooling-degree-days were 15.7% more than last year and 23.5% more than normal, which increases the amount of natural gas used in the electric power sector.The EIA also expects average U.S. residential electricity prices to increase by 5.2% in 2008, and the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline to remain at more than $4 until the fourth quarter of 2009.

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.

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