Natural Gas Prices Rise For First Time in Five Weeks

Relatively Modest Impact From Hurricane Isaac

Benchmark U.S. natural gas prices rose for the first time in five weeks amid unseasonably warm weather in Massachusetts, Texas and other areas and lower Gulf of Mexico production stemming from Hurricane Isaac, the Energy Information Administration said.

Henry Hub gas as of September 5 was $2.87 per million British thermal units, up 24 cents, or 9.1%, from a week earlier. In NYMEX futures trading September 6, October gas fell 1.9 cents to $2.776, down 2.3 cents, or 0.8% from the end of last week.

During the week ending September 5, U.S. gas consumption rose 2.6% from the previous week, driven by an increase of 7.3% in power sector use. Working natural gas in underground storage increased to 3.402 trillion cubic feet as of August 31, an implied net injection of 28 billion cubic feet from the previous week.

Many Gulf production platforms resumed oil and gas production this week following temporary shutdowns for Isaac. Despite the shutdown of as much as 73% of Gulf gas production as the storm passed, Isaac’s impact was “relatively modest,” representing about 4.7% of average daily output this year, the EIA said.

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