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Benchmark U.S. natural-gas prices fell sharply over the past week as a cold snap in the Northeast earlier this month relented, curbing heating demand, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Henry Hub gas as of January 30 was $3.24 per million British thermal units, down 29 cents, or 8.2%, from a week earlier. On January 22, gas hit $3.63, the highest since November 28. In NYMEX futures trading January 31, gas for March delivery rose 0.4 cent to $3.339, down 3.6% from $3.463 at the end of last week.
Total U.S. gas consumption fell 9.9% during the week ended January 30 compared to the previous week, partly reflecting a decline of nearly 12% in residential and commercial demand. Temperatures in the lower 48 U.S. states averaged 33 degrees Fahrenheit, about the same as the 30-year average for the period.
Working gas in underground storage totaled 2.802 trillion cubic feet as of January 25, a net withdrawal of 194 billion cubic feet from the previous week. Last week’s supplies were 6.7% below last year’s levels but 12% higher than the five-year average for that date.