Falling U.S. Exports Sent Gas Prices Tumbling
Natural gas prices fell nearly 5 percent on Monday as a drop in U.S. LNG exports threatens to exacerbate inventories, which are well above their five-year average.
Natural gas was down 82 cents, or 4.77 percent, at $1.636 as of 4:27 p.m. Edt.
U.S. LNG exports fell in the week ended July 15, with only four ships with a combined capacity of 15 BCF leaving the U.S. during the week, according to the EIA. That's the lowest volume since the end of 2016, when the SabinePass LNG was the only LNG export facility in the U.S., according to FXEmpire.
This time last year, according to the EIA, a record amount of natural gas was flowing through U.S. LNG export facilities. This year, coVID-19 has limited the use of clean fuels, with stocks at 3.178 billion cubic feet as of July 10, well above the five-year average. That compares with 2.515 billion cubic feet a year earlier and a five-year average of 2.742 billion cubic feet.
But low oil prices haven't dampened Chevron's interest in Houston-based energy producer Nobleenergy. Noble Energy has a natural gas business in Leviathan, a large Israeli gas project.
The chief executive of Chevron called the short-term oil market "cloudy".
In an interview with Reuters, chevron chief executive MikeWirth said the situation was not encouraging. There is too much uncertainty about the trajectory of the pandemic, the pace of development of effective vaccines and policy interventions by governments trying to control the risks. It's a fluid environment. We expect economic and price trends to be volatile.
Chevron does see a long-term increase in demand for natural gas, but that's largely driven by population growth and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
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