Northeast spot natural gas prices broke from those of the rest of the country to drop sharply versus the prior month in September to come in just under the year-ago level.
At $2.067/MMBtu, the region saw prices tumble 9.5% versus the prior month to be the lowest in the country, while elsewhere, prices remained relatively close to August levels.
Although it has tempered earlier expectations, the U.S. Energy Information Administration still projects shale energy production will continue setting records through October, with shale gas production coming in 13.2% above the same month a year earlier.
On the demand side, the Northeast relies disproportionately on natural gas-fired generation to produce electricity. Although well above normal, electric cooling degree days, a proxy for cooling demand for electricity, were down 32.3% year over year in New England and down 29.6% in the mid-Atlantic over the same period.
With the exception of some locations in Canada and downstream on Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, the Northeast saw spot natural gas prices fall versus the prior month at supply and demand centers alike, but spot prices at hubs serving natural gas production still remained above year-ago levels.
In spite of year-over-year production growth and softer demand, spot prices at Leidy and TGP Z 4 Marcellus were 14.6% and 13.2% higher year over year than they were in September 2016.
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