NYMEX: Futures price boosted by first production decline in 12 months
The NYMEX June '12 natural gas futures price settled higher on 30 April, reversing a long streak of losses that prevailed for most of the month as production data indicated the first substantial decline in gas production in 12 months.
The $2.29/MMBtu closing price boosted the futures contract by almost 10 cents, lifting the 2012 calendar price to $2.62/MMBtu and the 2013 strip price to $3.45/MMBtu.
Gas production for the lower 48 states in the US declined by 0.42 billion cubic feet (bcf)/day, or 0.6%, for February, according to a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) production report released on 30 April.
Daily gas output from the continental US, including the offshore Gulf of Mexico, during February was at 72.32 bcf/day, which still remains 6.81 bcf/day above 2011 levels.
At the same time, incremental demand for natural gas, partly due to the declining use of coal for power generation, is beginning to draw down the high natural gas stockpiles that have been building up since last autumn, said Michael Fitzpatrick of The Kilduff Report.
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