U.S. Energy Information Administration logo
Skip to sub-navigation
‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: June 9, 2020  |  Next Release Date: July 7, 2020  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural Gas

  • In May, the Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $1.75 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). EIA forecasts that relatively low natural gas demand will keep spot prices lower than $2/MMBtu through August. However, EIA expects prices will generally rise through the end of 2021. EIA expects that natural gas price increases will be sharpest this fall and winter when they rise from an average of $2.06/MMBtu in September to $3.08/MMBtu in January. Despite EIA’s forecast of record end-of-October storage levels, EIA expects that rising demand heading into winter, combined with reduced production, will cause upward price pressures. EIA forecasts that Henry Hub natural gas spot prices will average $2.04/MMBtu in 2020 and $3.08/MMBtu in 2021.
  • EIA expects that total U.S. consumption of natural gas will average 81.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020, down 3.6% from 2019. The decline primarily reflects less consumption in the industrial-sector, which EIA forecasts will average 21.0 Bcf/d in 2020, down 8.7% from 2019 as a result of reduced manufacturing activity.
  • U.S. dry natural gas production set a record in 2019, averaging 92.2 Bcf/d. EIA forecasts dry natural gas production will average 89.7 Bcf/d in 2020, with monthly production falling from 96.2 Bcf/d in November 2019 to 83.6 Bcf/d in March 2021, before increasing slightly. Natural gas production declines the most in the Appalachian and Permian regions. In the Appalachian region, low natural gas prices are discouraging producers from engaging in natural gas-directed drilling, and in the Permian region, low crude oil prices reduce associated natural gas output from oil-directed wells. In 2021, EIA’s forecast production of dry natural gas in the United States averages 85.4 Bcf/d. EIA expects production to begin rising in the second quarter of 2021 in response to higher prices.
  • EIA estimates that total U.S. working natural gas in storage ended May at almost 2.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 18% more than the five-year (2015–19) average. In the forecast, inventories rise by 2.1 Tcf during the April-through-October injection season to reach more than 4.1 Tcf on October 31, which would be a record.
  • EIA forecasts that U.S. liquefied natural gas exports will average 5.6 Bcf/d in the second quarter of 2020 and 3.7 Bcf/d in the third quarter of 2020. EIA expects that U.S. liquefied natural gas exports will decline through the end of the summer as a result of reduced global demand for natural gas.

U.S. natural gas consumption

U.S. marketed natural gas production

U.S. natural gas trade

U.S. Natural Gas Summary
  2018201920202021
Prices (dollars per thousand cubic feet)
Henry Hub Spot 3.272.662.123.20
Residential Sector 10.4610.5610.4610.67
Commercial Sector 7.777.627.267.80
Industrial Sector 4.213.913.164.24
Supply (billion cubic feet per day)
Marketed Production 89.9399.1796.7992.40
Dry Gas Production 83.8092.2189.6585.39
Pipeline Imports 7.707.377.067.92
LNG Imports 0.210.140.180.22
Consumption (billion cubic feet per day)
Residential Sector 13.6913.7012.9613.35
Commercial Sector 9.639.659.149.30
Industrial Sector 22.9522.9820.9821.61
Electric Power Sector 29.0130.9831.5227.21
Total Consumption 82.4084.9781.8778.66
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Heating Degree Days 11.80.6-7.13.8
Cooling Degree Days 11.0-5.2-4.4-1.4
Commercial Employment 1.51.4-15.65.4
Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production 2.6-0.4-10.63.7

Interactive Data Viewers

Provides custom data views of historical and forecast data

STEO Data browser ›
Real Prices Viewer ›

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
Related Articles    
Today In Energy Daily
Natural Gas Weekly Update Weekly
Peak Underground Working Storage Capacity Annual
2020 Summer Fuels Outlook Apr-2020 PDF
Weather Sensitivity in Natural Gas Markets Oct-2014 PDF
Energy-weighted industrial production indices Mar-2014 PDF
Change in STEO Regional and U.S. Degree Day Calculations Sep-2012 PDF
2012 Outlook for Hurricane-Related Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico Jun-2012 PDF
Changes in Natural Gas Monthly Consumption Data Collection and the Short-Term Energy Outlook Dec-2010 PDF
Trends in U.S. Residential Natural Gas Consumption 23-Jun-2010 PDF
Probabilities of Possible Future Prices Apr-2010 PDF
Energy Price Volatility and Forecast Uncertainty Oct-2009 PDF