To the Moon and Back - U.S., International Gas Markets Strap in for Wild Winter Ride

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Last week, panic over gas availability and energy reliability this winter sent international natural gas and LNG prices above $30/MMBtu for the first time. Asia’s Japan Korea Marker (JKM), Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) and the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) once again had multiple days in a row of all-time high settlements, as the undersupplied market struggles to find balance. The global shortage has also impacted the gas-rich U.S. market, which is linked to it through LNG exports. The U.S. markets are tight and might also face undersupply this winter, albeit, probably not to the point of triggering reliability issues that are already emerging abroad. If it did, the U.S. exports nearly 10 Bcf/d of LNG, which could be throttled back to free up additional supplies for domestic use. Nonetheless, Henry Hub prices climbed to nearly $6/MMBtu last week and hit post-2008 record highs. This is by no means the first-time various markets have faced considerable imbalance. In fact, last year at this time we were coming out of a period of widespread oversupply and record-low gas prices. But it’s certainly foreboding that it’s not even winter yet, and prices are skyrocketing to new heights. So the big question on everyone’s mind is how bad could this get? The answer of course is complicated and heavily dependent on weather. In today’s RBN blog, “To the Moon and Back – U.S., International Gas Markets Strap in for Wild Winter Ride,” Lindsay Schneider takes a look at how we got here, how LNG has intertwined the international energy markets more than ever, and what that means for the winter ahead.

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