MW: Natural gas production to rise 8% to 35-year high: NGSA
By Polya Lesova
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Average natural gas production this winter is expected to rise by 8% compared with last winter to its highest level in 35 years, the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) said Thursday. "That translates to a downward pressure point on natural gas prices this winter," said Patrick Kuntz, chairman of NGSA, at a press briefing in Washington. NGSA also expects U.S. natural gas demand to rise by 2.4% this winter to 78.5 billion cubic feet per day. NGSA also said that weather, one of the biggest determinants of natural gas demand, will have no upward or downward pressure on the market. NGSA also expects a "healthy level" of natural gas in storage this winter. Commenting on the impact of the credit crisis on the natural gas industry, Kuntz said: "It's hard to dismiss the magnitude of what this country is facing. If prolonged, this kind of a credit crunch can have an impact on drilling, on the industry generally." Natural gas for November delivery was recently trading up 5 cents to $7.78 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.