Natural gas prices at US' Henry Hub benchmark, which is used as a pricing point of gas in the country, hit record low levels in the first half of 2020, according to the US' Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"The average monthly Henry Hub spot price in the first six months of this year was $1.81 per million British thermal units (MMBtu)," the EIA said in a statement on Monday.
"Monthly prices reached a low of $1.63 per MMBtu in June, the lowest monthly inflation-adjusted (real) price since at least 1989," it added.
Natural gas prices in the US started 2020 low due to mild winter weather, which caused less gas demand for heating.
Starting from March, spring weather and economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in lower gas demand, which reduced gas prices even further.
"The monthly average Henry Hub price was less than $2 per MMBtu in each month from February through June," the statement said.
"The daily Henry Hub price reached its lowest level in more than 20 years on June 16, 2020, settling at $1.38 per MMBtu, according to Natural Gas Intelligence," it added.
- Recovery expected by end of 2020
The EIA said it expects natural gas prices to stay low in the coming months before eventually increasing by the end of 2020, as low gas prices would encourage more gas consumption in the electric power sector in 2020, which is already 7% higher in the first half of 2020 compared with last year.
The administration said it forecasts Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average $2.05 per MMBtu in the second half of 2020.
The EIA also said it estimates US' dry natural gas production to decrease by 3% to average 89.2 billion cubic feet (2.52 billion cubic meters) per day in 2020, down from 92.2 billion cubic feet (2.61 billion cubic meters) per day in 2019.
By Ovunc Kutlu