Price volatility in the US natural gas markets

Author Ty Weaver

Regardless of price volatility in the natural gas markets, the trading community needs the best information possible – even when prices are flat, markets are changing. Daily trading at many western hubs was down last year compared to 2015. Renewable power generation on the west coast is taking a bite out of gas demand.

Regardless of price volatility in the natural gas markets, the trading community needs the best information possible – even when prices are flat, markets are changing. Daily trading at many western hubs was down last year compared to 2015. Renewable power generation on the west coast is taking a bite out of gas demand.

Some locations become less active, others more. Despite low prices, the White River and Cheyenne hubs are still hanging on. While trading volumes at Gulf Coast storage hubs Katy and Pine Prairie grew.

And trading volume advanced rapidly in the gas-starved southeast as pipelines expand and utilities shift from coal.

The westbound expansion on Rockies Express allows buyers in the Great Lakes access to Marcellus and Utica shale gas, something that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Spreads are narrowing in Chicago and Michigan markets.

Northeast buyers sitting atop Marcellus or Utica don’t need to engage in daily trading – they’re sitting on isolated, available gas supply, at least for now.

The gas market is constantly changing, even when gas prices are flat.

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