The assault by an arctic chill that jolted natural gas consumption to a record 143 billion cubic feet on New Year’s Day has been largely deflected in terms of price so far by commodity markets aware of the U.S. superabundance of supply.
By morning Jan. 4, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) price had slipped 4.3 cents from its Jan. 2 close to $3.013 per million Btu (MMBtu).
Selected spot natural gas prices, however, responded to suddenly soaring demand with skyrocketing prices. The Katy, Texas, Hub closed on Jan. 3 at $6.38/MMBtu, the Ellisburg, N.Y., hub at $5.94/MMBtu and numerous other hubs closed between $5.50 and $6/MMBtu, up from less than $3/MMBtu on Dec. 26. The cold snap pushed prices for New England delivery last week to $53.50/MMBtu while the New York Hub saw a close of $46.53/MMBtu on Jan. 3.