Storage Levels Expected to Hit Record High in October

Benchmark U.S. natural gas prices rose sharply over the past week as higher residential and commercial demand offset lower power sector consumption, the Energy Information Administration said.

Henry Hub gas as of September 26 was $2.92 per million British thermal units, up 22 cents, or 8.1%, from a week earlier. In NYMEX futures trading September 27, November gas rose 8.2 cents to $3.297, up 22.6 cents, or 7.4%, from the end of last week.

During the week ending September 26, U.S. gas demand rose 3% from the previous week, led by an increase of nearly 12% in residential and commercial use. The past week's demand was up 11% from the same period a year earlier.

Working natural gas in underground storage increased to 3.576 trillion cubic feet as of September 21, an implied net injection of 80 billion cubic feet from the previous week and 9% over year-ago levels. While average weekly injections have been mostly running below the five-year average, gas storage levels are expected to reach an all-time high by the end of October, when the traditional injection season ends.

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