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Natural Gas Prices – Historical and Forecast

Gas prices are going up ! No they're not! Yes they are!! has a very good article going through this argument. If you're short of time, here is the summary.

#1 - Any energy company that can move capital spending away from natural gas drilling and into oil is doing so (Ed. a major driller doing just that)

#2 - U.S. LNG import facilities are being converted to LNG export facilities. That will allow producers to get world prices, which are 4-6 times higher than North American prices.

#3 - A continued shift from coal to natural gas as a source of power, for economics and the environment.

#4 - Producers had hedges in place at the high rates they could get a few years ago. Those have mostly expired.

April 28. 2014 - Low Stockpile Raises Worries Over US Natural Gas Supplies - Fox Business

The concerns center on a set of extraordinary circumstances: stocks are at 11-year lows; flat futures prices make it uneconomic for utilities to hold onto gas and burn it later, and a fractured network of pipelines means gas in big producing regions, including the country's biggest Marcellus Shale play centered in Pennsylvania, is stranded away from storage caverns. Forecasts of a hotter-than-average summer have raised worries that higher demand could add further strain on stockpiles.

April 2014 - Shale Gas Drilling Costs Higher than Expected -

This article suggest that the drilling costs for New York Shale - ( actually the same geologic formation as the Pennsylvania Shale -from where much of the current shale gas production has come from ) are much higher than previously thought and require spot prices in the $ 4-5 US $/MMBTU or about 17-21 in c/m3 just to break even.. which puts contract prices in the 20-25 range.

April 22, 2014 - For the first time in many years, natural gas inventories are lagging behind the 5 year average. -

Dec 2012 - Driven by Oil Shale Economics, Natural Gas Prices Primed for Slow and Steady Rise - Forbes

"As long as oil stays close to $90 per barrel, it appears likely that the gas supply will continue to throttle back, and the supply overhang will continue to dwindle. In the meantime, demand is likely to grow in a variety of sectors, prices will rise, and a longer-term price equilibrium will eventually kick into place. Gas at $5 to $6 per mmBtu may well be in our foreseeable future. So, for now, drillers are generally going to prove up reserves and sit on them until the price of gas relative to oil makes it profitable to produce. "

Sept 2012 - Natural gas market prices on the mend Globe and Mail.

Good news is developing on the natural gas price front, at least for commodity bulls, as a number of signs suggest that the worst could finally be over for the fuel. Some analysts now believe that this year's panic price will be the nadir, to be followed by a steady climb back to higher levels. If the thesis is correct, it implies upside for energy patch companies, such as Encana Corp., which have a heavy natural gas focus.

Sept 2012 - Natural Gas: Clear Skies For The Moment, Clouds On The Horizon -

Interesting gas futures and gas storage charts. Gas in storage is back within the 5 year average and the market is again in contango; each successive year is more expensive, reflecting a belief in rising prices.

Sept 2012 - The Reasons to Wonder About Natural Gas Prices -

A very interesting map of the world showing natural gas prices in many areas. The article decribes what might happen once LNG exports start escallating.

April 2012 - Arkansas Shale Activity Continues Decline - The Daily Wire - Apr 3, 2012.

Depressed gas prices have cause a large reduction in drilling rigs in Arkansas' Fayetteville shale area. Drillers are prepared to wait until prices get closer to $3.50

Jan 2012 - End of Low Prices Inevitable - The Globe and Mail - Jan 16, 2012.

A review of the effect of the low natural gas prices and how they might cause the next up cycle in prices.

May 2011 - Natural Gas: The turnaround kid in waiting - The Globe and Mail - May 31, 2011.

For years, natural gas has been unloved and undervalued, a commodity whose price has faltered so badly that even some of it its biggest producers have written off the possibility of a comeback for nearly a decade. But now, a growing number of observers say evidence is mounting that gas prices are nearing a turning point, and that the stage is being set for a revival as soon as the next few months.

Apr. 2011 - President Launches Broad Review of Hydraulic Fracturing - NGI's Shale Daily - April 4, 2011.

With natural gas now front and center on President Obama's energy agenda, his administration has called for a broad-based panel to be formed to examine potential risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

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What Drives Prices ?

Short Term - Weather, the US economy and gas storage levels.

  • Pick your scenario. If this winter is warmer than normal and the US economy continues at it's current pace, the US Dept of Energy predicts that gas prices will rise by about 5%. However, if this winter is colder than normal, the DOE says that consumers can expect double digit percentage increases. What is it going to be? Check out this weather forecasting site.
  • Gas storage levels coming out of the winter are higher than average

Long Term - Economic activity, demand/supply balance and the price of oil.

  • Natural gas demand in North America is increasing at about 3 % per year whereas supply is increasing at about 1%
  • Increasing economic activity, growth, new businesses and new homes increase gas use
  • Production from many older gas wells is declining quite rapidly. More
  • More natural gas is being used for electricity generation. Any new electricity capacity brought on line right now is generated by natural gas, rather than oil, coal, water or nuclear.
  • As the price of crude oil increases, some industries switch to natural gas. Many developed this dual fuel capability when gas prices skyrocketed in 2001.
  • Prices are not expected to come down until new major gas pipelines are built connecting new gas fields in Alaska and the Northwest Territories. That is at least 6 years away. Recent reports however suggest that virtually all of this northern gas will be used in to extract oil from the tar sands in Northern Alberta.
  • Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will become a factor in North America, but many terminals and custom tankers will have to be built.

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Legal Stuff provides unbiased natural gas price and electricity cost comparisons. This is valuable information and education for home and commercial, house and business. It's insurance against paying too much on current utility rates. We have historical data, supplier information, home heating calculations, natural gas price charts, maps to help you find your utility area, links to solar energy, green power and wind power sites.

There are many suppliers with consumer energy rates, natural gas prices and electricity costs in Canada including Direct Energy, OESC (Ontario Energy Savings Corp), AESC, Superior (SEM), Epcor, Enmax, Constellation NewEnergy (CNE), CEG, BCESC, Universal Energy and RiteRate. This information on electricity suppliers and open market rates is valid for Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC (British Columbia). It covers gas distributed by Enbridge, Union, Kitchener utilities, Kingston, ATCO, Direct Energy Regulated Services, Teresen, Epcor ENMAX and GazMet. Canadian natural gas prices are available for deregulated provinces.

Some US states are deregulated and several have quite active markets. Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio are active in 2007 and have the longest history. The most active marketers in Georgia are MX Energy, Georgia Natural Gas, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Gas South, GasKey, Infinite Energy, SCANA, Vectren and Walton EMC.

This price comparison search helps you find the cheapest electricity and cheapest natural gas among Canadian energy companies. While energy price information does not have the sex appeal of TV and electronics, it actually saves you much more money in your personal budget. If you sign a contract for 1 cent less per M3 (which is 27 cents/GJ), you will save about $30 per year. The difference between the highest and lowest price in Ontario is usually 5 cents, so signing with the lowest cost provider will save you $150 per year. Think about this when the door to door marketers and telemarketers talk to you.

We also provide educational information and links on such issues as Nox and Sox and CO2 reduction (Nitrous Oxide and Sulphur Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide). We are a consumer report on the energy industry. Real estate professionals like the information we provide on utility bills, cost history, on heating system conversion costs, and energy price forecasts to help their clients manage expenses and cost of living.

Links to the Hourly Ontario Energy Price HOEP are also available to guage the Ontario power industry. The HOEP is also referred to as the spot market for electricity, and the open market rate. We are working on links to the Alberta electricity power pool

Business customers have many more options for buying natural gas and electricity. They can buy full requirements gas contracts with all of the delivery and compressor fuel charges added, or they can buy naked price contracts based on NYMEX quotes, and pay all of the other charges quoted separately. Electricity can be either a fixed price for every kWh used regardless of timing, or a business can buy a block of electricity to best match their time of use. Business customers can buy from companies such as Coral (Shell Trading), Sempra, CNE, Direct Energy,