Natural gas prices
October natural gas (UNG) (BOIL) futures contracts rose 0.2% to $3.05 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) in electronic trading at 1:45 AM EST on September 1, 2017. Prices are near a five-week high.
However, prices have fallen 15% YTD (year-to-date) due to high natural gas production, weak demand, and mild weather. Moves in natural gas prices impact natural gas producers like Gulfport Energy (GPOR), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), WPX Energy (WPX), and EQT (EQT).
Hurricane Harvey and weather forecasts
Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast region on August 26, 2017, and caused heavy rain and floods. It’s estimated to be one of the biggest hurricanes to hit the US in the last 50 years. The storm’s death toll has already reached 30 people and will likely keep rising.
In the US, the weather is expected to be mild due to Hurricane Harvey. The weather is also expected to be mild in September 2017.
Market surveys project that more than 280,000 customers in Texas were without electricity on August 28, 2017. Massive floods, wind, and rain caused delays in restoring electricity in some parts of Texas.
More than 50% of US households use natural gas for heating and cooling purposes. Mild temperatures and weak demand could lead to a fall in natural gas demand. A fall in demand could weigh on US natural gas (UGAZ) (DGAZ) (BOIL) prices. Lower natural gas prices have a negative impact on natural gas producers like Gulfport Energy and WPX Energy.
Changes in the weather and demand influence US natural gas inventories.