By the end of 2021, average gas prices at Henry Hub will have climbed nearly 60 percent
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From the beginning of July, natural gas price futures linked to Henry Hub, North America’s key hub, never once fell below the mark of $3.50 per million British Thermal Units, according to the Chicago Commodities Exchange.

That was the highest level seen since December 2018 – not counting the shortlived leap seen last February, thanks to the cold wave in Texas.
    Spot prices at Henry Hub are also on the rise. By the end of the year, their 12–month average ($3.22 per million BTU) will exceed 2020 levels by nearly 60 % (2.30 per million), as folows from the forecast issued by the U.S Department of Energy’s Energy Information agency (EIA).
    Behind the price rise is a recovery in gas demand. By the end of the year, the IEA sees gas consumption in industry rising by 1.2 % and in housing and the commercial sector by 5.1 per cent and 7.3 percent. The same effect applied to the slower pace of filling underground storage facilities. By the end of June, American storage facilities held 2.56 trillion cu. ft  of gas – 17 percent less than a year ago and 5 % less than average levels in
2016-2020.
    Lastly, the growth in exports is playing a role: by the end of 2021, total exports of pipeline-based and liquefied natural gas will show an increase by 27 % to 18.3 billion cu. ft. per day, according to an EIA forecast. Increased exports are linked, in part, to the recent launch of a third line at the Corpus Christi LNG plant in Texas that brought its capacity to 15 million tonnes of LNG per year.
    The rise in prices holds in check to a certain extent gas consumption in U.S. electricity generation. The EIA forecast said that by year-end, demand for gas will dip in that sector by 8%.
    But this is unlikely to have much effect on the situation with gas in the overall energy production scheme. In 2011, gas-fired stations provided 25 percent -by 2020, that figure stood at 40 %. The sharp rise was linked to efforts to replace coal – from 2011-2019, 121 coal-fired stations were undergoing a transition to other forms of energy. Of those, 103 stations switched over to natural gas, the EIA said.

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