September 2007

What's new in exploration

WThe price of natural gas in the US (Henry Hub) dropped 30% between early June and late July 2007, from $7.89 to $5.56/MMbtu ($8.10-5.71/Mcf). From March to July, US imports of LNG surged to record levels, averaging 73% higher per month than the same period in 2006. Are the vast reserves of previously stranded gas beginning to enter the US? And will LNG imports hurt domestic gas E&P? Probably not in the near term, but it is important to understand the factors affecting the recent gas price downturn. The fundamental gap between indigenous North American gas supply and demand is undeniable (“The impending US gas supply crisis: Why prices will increase,” World Oil, June 2007), but prices are based on a short-term supply assessment that generally consists only of the current and upcoming demand seasons. A mild 2006-2007 winter and an exceptionally cool 2007 summer in the US have resulted in record amounts of gas in storage ...

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