Natural gas prices have crashed to 17-year-lows in the past week, underscoring burgeoning supply in the global market just as U.S. exports its first ever shale gas cargo.
On Monday, natural gas prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 4.5 percent lower to their lowest level since 1999 after U.S. weather forecasts signaled warmer weather in the weeks ahead, curbing demand for natural gas used for heating.
The decline brought February losses in natural gas to 26 percent. Prices recovered on Tuesday but the outlook remains depressed.
Japan, the world's largest importer of natural gas, is restarting its nuclear reactors six years after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, with three out of 43 nuclear reactors brought back online since August and more expected to come.
Japan is likely to bring back more reactors online, which will make the country less dependent on liquefied natural gas (LNG, the super-cooled version of natural gas made for easier storage and shipping) for electricity generation.