U.S. natural gas prices climbed to the highest point since 2008 on Monday, as Russia’s war on Ukraine puts pressure on the world’s energy supply and forecasts predict cooler spring temperatures, CNBC reports.
Futures soared 8.5% to trade as high as $7.93 per million British thermal units, a level not seen for 13 years. Up 102% over last year, U.S. natural gas prices are fueling economy-wide inflationary concerns. Still, Europe faces the most significant impact; natural gas futures have skyrocketed to all-time highs as the bloc attempts to lessen its reliance on Russian energy.
The U.S. is sending more liquified natural gas to Europe than it ever has before. According to the Royal Bank of Canada, “LNG exports have taken on more significance with geopolitics and demand from both power generation/industrial usage are strong. The U.S. role as an exporter continues to increase.”
EBW Analytics, a group that advises leading firms in the energy sector, doesn’t think prices will level out anytime soon. “With momentum firmly bullish and the market ill-equipped to handle any further bullish shocks, notable continued gains for natural gas remain likely this summer,” the group predicted.
But others are less convinced. Citi increased its 2022 base case Henry Hub target by 40 cents to $4.60 per million British thermal units, well under where the contract trades currently, saying, “[A] combination of factors could raise demand and slow production growth, but the market might be over-estimating their impacts as prices have surged.”
For now, though, natural gas’s upward trend holds strong, with shares of natural-gas producers EQT Corp and Coterra Energy seeing 52-week highs in trading Monday morning, leaping more than 4%.
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