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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 12, 2019  |  Next Release Date: March 12, 2019  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural Gas

  • The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $3.13/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in January, down 91 cents/MMBtu from December. Despite a cold snap in late January, average temperatures for the month were milder than normal in much of the country, which contributed to lower prices. 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 $2.83/MMBtu in 2019, down 32 cents/MMBtu from the 2018 average. NYMEX futures and options contract values for May 2019 delivery traded during the five-day period ending February 7, 2019, suggest a range of $2.15/MMBtu to $3.30/MMBtu encompasses the market expectation for May 2019 Henry Hub natural gas prices at the 95% confidence level.

  • EIA forecasts that dry natural gas production will average 90.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, up 6.9 Bcf/d from 2018. EIA expects natural gas production will continue to rise in 2020 to an average of 92.1 Bcf/d.

  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to rise from 35% in 2018 to 36% in 2019 and to 37% in 2020. EIA forecasts that the electricity generation share from coal will average 26% in 2019 and 24% in 2020, down from 28% in 2018. The nuclear share of generation was 19% in 2018 and EIA forecasts that it will stay near that level in 2019 and in 2020. The generation share of hydropower is forecast to average slightly less than 7% of total generation in 2019 and 2020, similar to last year. Wind, solar, and other nonhydropower renewables together provided about 10% of electricity generation in 2018. EIA expects them to provide 11% in 2019 and 13% in 2019.

U.S. natural gas consumption

U.S. marketed natural gas production

U.S. natural gas trade

U.S. working natural gas in storage

U.S. natural gas balance

U.S. Natural Gas Summary
  2017201820192020
Prices (dollars per thousand cubic feet)
Henry Hub Spot 3.103.272.932.90
Residential Sector 10.8610.5010.7910.92
Commercial Sector 7.867.837.967.87
Industrial Sector 4.104.214.114.02
Supply (billion cubic feet per day)
Marketed Production 79.9989.5797.1499.39
Dry Gas Production 74.7783.2690.1692.05
Pipeline Imports 8.127.766.986.79
LNG Imports 0.210.190.220.22
Consumption (billion cubic feet per day)
Residential Sector 12.0913.4613.4113.18
Commercial Sector 8.679.339.289.00
Industrial Sector 21.7822.6923.1023.38
Electric Power Sector 25.3929.1029.0530.02
Total Consumption 74.3281.6882.5383.56
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Heating Degree Days -1.311.0-1.50.1
Cooling Degree Days -8.411.1-13.50.7
Commercial Employment 1.81.71.61.0
Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production 2.92.63.21.7

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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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