The early part of this week saw declines across the board for the natural gas futures market. Following Thursday morning's storage report, the week gave back those earlier losses to end relatively flat. The potential of a government shut-down in Washington continues to give the market uncertainty as weather and international events were not material drivers this week. The markets continue to test the $4.00 level, but again falling short of it. Spreads between the 12, 24, and 36 month strips were unchanged from last week.
New gas storage levels came out on Sept 26 for the week ending Sept 20. The data showed 3,386 Bcf of gas in the system, up 87 Bcf from the previous week, or up 3%. The prior year’s report ending the same week showed 3,565 Bcf in the system, so the levels have come down 5% vs the comparable period a year ago. That being said, present gas in the system is at around the 5 year average of 3,356 Bcf.
Customers looking for price protection should elect to lock their rates with a 6 month fixed price product. Those customers seeking the flexibility of short term contracts, and being able to participate in the benefits of lower index pricing should elect to go with a variable price product.