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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: December 11, 2018  |  Next Release Date: January 15, 2019  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural Gas

  • The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $4.15/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in November, up $0.87/MMBtu from the October average. Cold temperatures and low inventory levels contributed to the increase in price. Despite low inventory levels, EIA expects strong growth in U.S. natural gas production to put downward pressure on prices in 2019. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot prices to average $3.11/MMBtu in 2019, down 6 cents from the 2018 average and down from a forecast average price of $3.88/MMBtu in the fourth quarter of 2018. NYMEX futures and options contract values for March 2019 delivery traded during the five-day period ending December 6, 2018, suggest a range of $1.85/MMBtu to $8.37/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for March Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.
  • EIA estimates that U.S. natural gas storage inventories were 3.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at the end of November, which was 19% lower than the five-year (2013–17) average for the end of November.
  • EIA forecasts that dry natural gas production will average 83.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2018, up 8.5 Bcf/d from 2017. Both the level and volume growth of natural gas production in 2018 would establish new records. EIA expects natural gas production will continue to rise in 2019 to an average of 90.0 Bcf/d.

U.S. natural gas consumption

U.S. natural gas balance

U.S. marketed natural gas production

U.S. natural gas trade

U.S. working natural gas in storage

U.S. Natural Gas Summary
  2016201720182019
Prices (dollars per thousand cubic feet)
Henry Hub Spot 2.613.103.293.23
Residential Sector 10.0410.8610.8411.24
Commercial Sector 7.297.867.978.32
Industrial Sector 3.514.104.254.37
Supply (billion cubic feet per day)
Marketed Production 77.6079.9989.6397.09
Dry Gas Production 72.6674.7783.3089.99
Pipeline Imports 7.978.127.807.20
LNG Imports 0.240.210.190.22
Consumption (billion cubic feet per day)
Residential Sector 11.8812.0913.5513.23
Commercial Sector 8.508.679.299.21
Industrial Sector 21.1221.7822.7622.79
Electric Power Sector 27.2825.3929.0328.63
Total Consumption 74.9874.3281.7481.57
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.312.8-2.6
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.511.3-13.3
Commercial Employment 2.21.81.71.7
Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production 1.12.92.93.7

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Related Figures
Henry Hub natural gas price XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas prices XLSX PNG
U.S. marketed natural gas production XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas consumption XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas balance XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas trade XLSX PNG
U.S. working natural gas in storage XLSX PNG
U.S. electricity generation by fuel, all sectors XLSX PNG
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth XLSX PNG
U.S. winter heating degree days XLSX PNG
U.S. census regions and census divisions XLSX PNG
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