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Natural gas prices rose sharply over the past week as extreme heat and drought gripped much of the U.S., pushing power use up over last year’s levels, the Energy Information Administration said in a report.
In the Midwest and Northeast, hotter than normal temperatures boosted gas prices over much of the week ended July 18, the EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said in its Natural Gas Weekly Update.
While total consumption for the week fell from the prior period, power sector use was up nearly 16% from the same period a year earlier. Total U.S. supply for the week rose 0.1 percent. Working gas in storage was about 3.16 trillion cubic feet as of July 13, implying a net injection of 28 billion cubic feet, the EIA said.
The Henry Hub day-ahead price rose 4.4 percent on the week to $2.84 per million British thermal units. In Nymex futures trading July 19, gas for August delivery settled at $2.999, the contract’s highest closing price since late February.