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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: Aug. 9, 2022  |  Forecast Completed: Aug. 4, 2022  |  Next Release Date: Sep. 13, 2022  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural Gas

  • In July, the Henry Hub spot price averaged $7.28 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down from $7.70/MMBtu in June and $8.14/MMBtu in May. Average natural gas prices fell over the last two months primarily because of additional supply in the domestic market following the shutdown of the Freeport LNG export terminal on June 8. However, prices increased by almost 50%, from $5.73/MMBtu on July 1 to $8.37/MMBtu on July 29, because of continued high demand for natural gas from the electric power sector. We expect the Henry Hub price to average $7.54/MMBtu in the second half of 2022 and then fall to an average of $5.10/MMBtu in 2023 amid rising natural gas production.
  • U.S. natural gas inventories ended July at 2.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which was 12% below the 2017–2021 average. We forecast that natural gas inventories will end the 2022 injection season (end of October) at close to 3.5 Tcf, which would be 6% below the five-year average.
  • We forecast that U.S. LNG exports will average 10.0 Bcf/d in 3Q22 and 11.2 Bcf/d for all of 2022, a 14% increase from 2021. This increase is the result of additional U.S. LNG export capacity that has come online and Freeport LNG resuming operations sooner than we had initially expected. In the first half of 2022, the United States became the largest LNG exporter in the world. We forecast LNG exports will average 12.7 Bcf/d in 2023.
  • U.S. consumption of natural gas in our forecast averages 85.2 Bcf/d in 2022, up 3% from 2021. Consumption in the electric power sector continues to increase as a result of limited switching from natural gas-fired generators to coal-fired generators for power generation, despite elevated natural gas prices. In addition, rising U.S. natural gas consumption reflects increased consumption in the residential and commercial sectors as a result of colder temperatures on average in 2022 than in 2021. We forecast that natural gas consumption will average 83.8 Bcf/d in 2023, about 1.3 Bcf/d (2%) lower than in 2022.
  • We forecast U.S. dry natural gas production to average 97.1 Bcf/d in August and 96.6 Bcf/d during all of 2022, which would be 3.0 Bcf/d (3%) more than in 2021. We expect dry natural gas production to average 100.0 Bcf/d in 2023.

U.S. natural gas consumption

U.S. marketed natural gas production

U.S. natural gas trade

Henry Hub natural gas price

U.S. Natural Gas Summary
  2020202120222023
Prices (dollars per thousand cubic feet)
Henry Hub Spot 2.114.067.075.29
Residential Sector 10.7612.2714.5614.95
Commercial Sector 7.498.8211.1511.25
Industrial Sector 3.325.508.036.73
Supply (billion cubic feet per day)
Marketed Production 98.91101.40105.13108.86
Dry Gas Production 91.4993.5596.59100.02
Pipeline Imports 6.847.637.426.76
LNG Imports 0.130.060.150.22
Consumption (billion cubic feet per day)
Residential Sector 12.7712.7513.4413.18
Commercial Sector 8.668.949.239.37
Industrial Sector 22.2722.4622.8422.07
Electric Power Sector 31.7530.8831.4430.86
Total Consumption 83.2782.9785.1683.84
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Heating Degree Days -9.30.57.6-0.9
Cooling Degree Days 1.5-1.80.5-8.3
Commercial Employment -6.73.74.61.5
Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production -7.74.53.11.5

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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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