Natural-Gas Prices Reach Highest in Over a Year

Storage Levels Still Holding Above Average Levels

Benchmark U.S. natural-gas prices rose over the past week, reaching the highest levels in over a year as colder weather in parts of the country led to greater demand, the Energy Information Administration said.

Henry Hub gas as of November 28 was $3.70 per million British thermal units, up 11 cents from a week earlier. On November 27, the price hit $3.77, the highest since September 2011. In NYMEX futures trading November 29, gas for January delivery fell 15.3 cents to $3.648, down 9.6% from $4.304 at the end of last week.

Total U.S. gas demand rose 8.6% during the week ended November 28 compared to the previous week, driven by a gain of 22% in residential and commercial consumption. Temperatures in the lower 48 U.S. states averaged 46.7 degrees Fahrenheit, about 0.4 degree below the 30-year average for the period.

Working gas in underground storage decreased to 3.877 trillion cubic feet as of November 23, a net increase of 4 billion cubic feet from the previous week. Inventories hit a record high at the end of October. Last week's supplies were 0.7% above last year's levels and 5.2% higher than the five-year average for that date.

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