US December monthly natural gas prices largely rose as the market moves into the heart of peak winter heating season, pushing regions such as the Northeast to December levels not seen since 2014.
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Algonquin city-gates December jumped $3.15 to $5.80/MMBtu, up nearly 119%from November levels and one of the highest December levels since 2014,ushering in the upcoming winter at a high level.
The remainder of the Northeast rose as well, pushing the regional averageto $4.27/MMBtu, up $1.72/MMBtu.
In the core of the Appalachian production basin, Dominion, AppalachiaDecember movement was unfazed by numerous record output levels in recentmonths, soaring 93 cents to $2.50/MMBtu, nearly $1 above November as numerous infrastructure projects provided an outlet for sky-high production.
Increases in the Upper Midwest region were not as pronounced, withChicago city-gates December up 27 cents to $3.10/MMBtu. A contributing factorin the more-minimal rise is the ever-increasing supply of gas traversing theregion.
This dynamic, driven in part by increasing Western Canadian, Rockies andNortheast flows through the region, has weighed on the January futures basis contract as well in recent days.
Rising in a similar fashion, Houston Ship Channel tacked on 24 cents to $3.00/MMBtu, but looking deeper into the upcoming winter, more pronouncedincreases along the Gulf Coast could be looming as LNG export demand soars onthe back of strong consumption in northeastern Asia.
To the east of Houston Ship Channel, benchmark Henry Hub December jumped34 cents to $3.08/MMBtu, in line with other December contract movements in theSoutheast.
Supply concerns because of storage restrictions and numerous maintenanceprojects around the Southern California market pushed the Southern CaliforniaGas city-gates to $6.40/MMBtu, which is not only $2.77/MMBtu higher thanNovember levels, but the highest level on record, according to S&P GlobalPlatts pricing data.
But AECO December was one of the few locations to dip into December, down24 cents to C$1.92/Gj as strong production levels in Alberta outweighed recentrecord demand levels in the province, putting pressure on the December price.
Overall, the US December national average increased 56 cents to$3.08/MMBtu, more in line with year-ago levels.
--Ryan Ouwerkerk, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Valarie Jackson, email@example.com