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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: August 6, 2019  |  Next Release Date: September 10, 2019  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural Gas

  • The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $2.37/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in July, down 3 cents/MMBtu from June. However, by the end of the month, spot prices had fallen below $2.30/MMBtu. Based on this price movement and EIA’s forecast of continued strong growth in natural gas production, EIA lowered its Henry Hub spot price forecast for the second half of 2019 to an average of $2.36/MMBtu. In the July STEO, EIA expected prices to average $2.50/MMBtu during this period. EIA expects natural gas prices in 2020 will increase to an average of $2.75/MMBtu. EIA’s natural gas production models indicate that rising prices are required in the coming quarters to bring supply into balance with rising domestic and export demand in 2020.
  • EIA forecasts that U.S. dry natural gas production will average 91.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, up 7.6 Bcf/d from 2018. EIA expects monthly average natural gas production to grow in late 2019 and then decline slightly during the first quarter of 2020 as the lagged effect of low prices in the second half of 2019 reduces natural gas-directed drilling. However, EIA forecasts that growth will resume in the second quarter of 2020, and natural gas production in 2020 will average 92.5 Bcf/d.
  • EIA estimates that natural gas inventories ended July at 2.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 13% higher than levels from a year earlier and 4% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average. EIA forecasts that natural gas storage injections during the 2019 April-through-October injection season will outpace the previous five-year average and that inventories will rise to more than 3.7 Tcf at the end of October, which would be 16% higher than October 2018 levels and slightly above to the five-year average.

U.S. natural gas consumption

U.S. marketed natural gas production

U.S. natural gas trade

U.S. working natural gas in storage

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U.S. natural gas prices

U.S. natural gas balance

Henry Hub natural gas price

U.S. Natural Gas Summary
  2017201820192020
Prices (dollars per thousand cubic feet)
Henry Hub Spot 3.103.272.642.85
Residential Sector 10.8610.4910.4910.61
Commercial Sector 7.867.827.687.65
Industrial Sector 4.104.203.863.93
Supply (billion cubic feet per day)
Marketed Production 79.9989.6998.0699.88
Dry Gas Production 74.7783.3991.0392.50
Pipeline Imports 8.127.707.297.25
LNG Imports 0.210.210.190.22
Consumption (billion cubic feet per day)
Residential Sector 12.0913.6313.7013.55
Commercial Sector 8.679.529.679.30
Industrial Sector 21.7822.7023.1423.71
Electric Power Sector 25.3929.1130.5729.56
Total Consumption 74.3282.0784.6583.96
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Heating Degree Days -1.311.80.3-2.8
Cooling Degree Days -8.311.1-11.0-1.9
Commercial Employment 1.71.61.71.3
Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production 3.32.6-0.00.5

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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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