Nothing like a cold spell to boost the nation’s natural gas demand, and cost.
Forecasts now indicate this week’s outbreak will be stronger than anticipated, with Chicago seeing sub-zero readings. In New England, spot prices more than tripled to the highest in over three years and turned the region into the world’s priciest market.
Total U.S. gas consumption jumped 31 percent to 115.7 billion cubic feet on Tuesday from Friday. That’s the most ever for this time of year in PointLogic Energy data back to 2007. Not only have more homes converted to the fuel from oil in Connecticut through Maine, the region’s generators are more reliant on gas to produce electricity than anywhere else in the country.
Gas for next-day delivery on Enbridge’s Algonquin city gate in New England, including Boston, settled at $35.35 per million British thermal units on the Intercontinental Exchange on Tuesday. Algonquin gas last rose that high in February 2014 during the polar vortex.