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Northeast natural gas prices lead August uptrend

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August

Northeast natural gas prices lead August uptrend

Spot natural gas prices across the country rose year over year in August, with the Northeast logging the largest increase amid elevated weather-related demand.

Northeast spot gas price jumped roughly 28.1% year over year in August to $2.924/MMBtu, while indexes elsewhere in the country that spanned the low $2.70s to the high $2.80s per MMBtu generally notched single-digit percentage gains over the same period.

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Appalachia continued set the pace in shale gas output growth, as regional production is seen expanding by 0.3 Bcf/d to approach 29.4 Bcf/d from August to September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest Drilling Productivity Report. Total U.S. shale gas production is projected to reach 72.4 Bcf/d by September, from 71.4 Bcf/d in August.

Running against supply-side pressure, however, weather-driven demand grew significantly. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration degree day data for the four weeks ended Aug. 25 show cooling degree days in New England totaled 232, exceeding the norm and the prior-year level by about 57.8% and 65.7%, respectively.

Spot gas prices at Algon Gates, which moves natural gas into the Boston area, soared by approximately 35.6% year over year in August to $3.260/MMBtu, while the index at the Transcontinental Pipeline Zone 6 hub for New York City jumped by about 33.6% to $3.038/MMBtu. Price action at hubs serving growing Appalachian production notched gains ranging from less than 1.0% at TCO Pool to almost 52.0% at Dominion S over the same period to reach between the mid-$2.50s to the high $2.80s per MMBtu.

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Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.