Gas Prices

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Natural Gas Prices Set New Record

From the New York Times:

Natural gas prices set a new record today, presaging higher heating bills for a majority of Americans this winter as well as soaring costs for industrial manufacturers of such products as plastics and chemicals.

Since the beginning of the summer, the price of natural gas has doubled. But unlike crude oil or gasoline, whose recent gains have been widely felt by most Americans, the surge in natural gas prices, the most popular form of energy for home heating, has so far gone largely unnoticed.

That is about to change as colder weather sets in. A hot summer, which pushed up natural gas consumption by electricity companies and depleted winter stocks, is expected to give way to a cold winter, which will push up residential consumption. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast, the nation's largest energy hub, has suffered devastating punches from two severe hurricanes.

All these factor have now come together to create a natural gas crisis. [...]

Natural prices for November delivery gained 9.6 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at $14.20 per thousand cubic feet this afternoon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as high as $14.58.

Natural gas now costs more than three times the $4.70 it averaged since 2000 and seven times the average price of the 1990's, which was $2 a thousand cubic feet.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane Rita Spikes Gas Prices

From ABC News:

Pump prices, which are already 47 percent higher than a year ago at $2.75 per gallon, could once again climb above $3 a gallon nationwide, analysts said. Supply snags are most problematic for the Gulf Coast, but markets in the East and Midwest are also vulnerable.

Twenty refineries along the Gulf Coast remained closed on Saturday, including four that were badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina almost a month ago. They account for 19 percent of total fuel refining capacity nationwide.