Mild weather pressures New York natgas prices to 10-mth lows
NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Natural gas prices in New York slid to their lowest levels in more than 10 months early on Friday as unseasonably cool summer weather blanketed the eastern United States, curbing any need for air conditioning.
"Weather forecasts continue to provide little support for the market with normal to below-normal temperatures expected across the East in the coming weeks," said Tradition Energy's senior director of market research, Addison Armstrong.
Temperatures in mid-July topped out in the high 90s Fahrenheit (high 30s Celsius) in New York City, with humidity levels making it feel like well over 100 degrees F, pushing power demand in the city to a record high and gas prices to their highest level since a late-winter cold spell in April.
But with temperatures expected to only reach the high-70s or low-80s F over the next several days, traders said weekend prices on the Transco gas pipeline at the New York citygate slid 19 cents early Friday to near $3.21 per million British thermal units, their lowest price since late September 2012, according to Reuters data.
New York prices, as well as other key U.S. natural gas prices hit decade lows under $2 per mmBtu in early 2012.
New York prices historically had been the most expensive in the nation, but new pipeline capacity and production from the nearby Marcellus Shale has helped to limit prices and curb much of the price volatility in the gas consuming city.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday said U.S. energy companies total proved natural gas reserves shot to a record high in 2011, noting the huge impact that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in rich shale rock formations like the Marcellus has had on output.