Market Updates

Market Update: May 24, 2023

Natural gas prices rallied late last week before trading back down this morning. The market appears to be in lock step with weather forecasts that will dictate the natural gas demand from power generation. The 8–14-day weather outlook has taken a milder tone over the last few days thus taking some pressure off prices. Cooler temperatures and higher rain chances in Alberta Canada are also causing prices to pull back as wildfires are expected to soon be contained thus returning US imports from Canada back to normal levels. US production also remains very healthy despite seasonal maintenance that has reduced output.

The latest storage report from the EIA stated a 99 BCF injection which brings current inventory to 2.240 TCF.  This level is over 30% higher than one year ago and nearly 18% higher than the 5-year average.

NYMEX Natural Gas Futures
Electric pricing forward calendar strips (1-year back)

Working gas in underground storage compared with the 5-year maximum and minimum

Temperature Outlook: May 24-30, 2023 | NOAA

Crude oil continues to trade around the $73.00 mark as traders focus on Washington and the ongoing debt ceiling talks between Republicans and Democrats. There is optimism for a compromise to be reached avoiding a US default in early June. Economic concerns also remain for the US and China who are the two largest oil consumers in the world.

According to Baker Hughes the total rig count dropped by eleven last week to 720 rigs.  All the eleven rigs were oil while gas rigs remained unchanged.  One year ago, the total rig count sat at 728 rigs.

This week’s additional graphic from the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook projects natural gas prices to increase for the balance of 2023 and through 2024. Henry Hub prices are expected to be around the $3.71 level in December. Forecasted prices for the balance of the year are projected to be near $2.91 which is much lower than the average price of $6.42 experienced in 2022.

Monthly U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price (Jan 2018-Dec 2024) | EIA

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