As the spring season begins to move closer, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) prices have been decreasing as heating demand subsides. While there have been some signs of a possible economic recovery, NGL and natural gas prices continue to crest and trough without any sustained movement up or down. This situation is not likely to change until there is a strong and long-lasting recovery that supports all facets of the U.S. economy.
Frac spread margins fell throughout the month of February as both natural gas feedstock prices and natural gas liquids (NGLs) prices dropped during the course of the month. Only two heavier NGLs – butane and C5+ – posted margin gains over the course of the four weeks.
Mont Belvieu natural gas liquids (NGLs) frac spread margins were more improved this week than their Conway counterparts, although the two largest margin improvements for any single NGL were both recorded at Conway.
Once again natural gas liquids (NGLs) prices were stronger at Mont Belvieu compared to NGL prices at Conway, as the only negative for Texas prices was a slight drop in the price of propane while Conway saw both propane and iso-butane prices fall this week.
Heavy decreases in natural gas feedstock prices improved the natural gas liquids frac spread margins at both Conway and Mont Belvieu this week, with the exception of Conway ethane. Natural gas feedstock prices fell 12% at Conway and 13% at Mont Belvieu, which lowered the price to under US$5 per million Btu at each location.
As the spring season closes in, demand for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) has decreased and pushed prices down. The biggest price decreases at both Conway and Mont Belvieu were once again for ethane and propane.
The first month of 2010 was a strong showing for natural gas liquids (NGLs) frac spread margins in Mont Belvieu, as margins were up across the board throughout the month. Conway margins were also healthy, with only two smaller drops in margins for propane and butane souring margins at the hub.
Conway frac spread margins were weaker this week than their Mont Belvieu counterparts, as prices for natural gas liquids fell further in Kansas. The biggest drop in margin at both hubs was ethane, which was down 13% at Conway and 11% at Mont Belvieu.
Prices for natural gas liquids (NGLs) largely retreated this week, pushing prices below their average January price range. However, for the most part, prices remained healthy compared to the same period one year ago, as well as in December.
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) prices dropping for the most part and natural gas feedstock prices increasing at both Conway and Mont Belvieu, NGL frac spread margins were largely down at both hubs. The lone exception was ethane, which was up 6% at Conway and 1% at Mont Belvieu.
Decreases in natural gas feedstock prices helped to increase natural gas liquid frac spread margins or, in some cases, cushion the fall. Feedstock prices at Conway were down 6% while feedstock prices at Mont Belvieu were off 8% from last week.
Propane prices improved for the second straight week at both Conway and Mont Belvieu and are nearly back at the same level they had in the second week of January. Although ethane prices also improved at both hubs, natural gas liquid prices were largely down in most other cases.