Natural gas price hits another 10-year low

AP News
Posted: Apr 19, 2012 3:14 PM
Natural gas price hits another 10-year low

The price of natural gas has dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade as U.S. supplies continue to grow.

Natural gas futures gave up 4.4 cents to finish at $1.9070 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York. That matches a10-year low reached on Jan. 28, 2002. The futures contract fell below $2 last week.

Prices declined after the Energy Information Administration reported that supplies grew by 25 billion cubic feet last week, putting the nation's supply level at 58 percent above the five-year average. Major natural gas companies such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and ConocoPhillips have idled some of their production in hopes of slowing the expanding supply.

But supplies are still growing faster than normal this year, and analysts say the country may eventually run out of places to put its natural gas.

"Companies can talk all they want about reducing production, but until we start seeing a difference, prices are going to fall," independent analyst and trader Stephen Schork said.

Meanwhile, benchmark crude prices fell by 40 cents to end at $102.27 per barrel, while Brent crude rose by 3 cents to finish at $118 per barrel.

Retail gasoline prices fell for a third day to a national average of $3.891 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices have dropped by 4.5 cents over the last two weeks.

In other energy trading, heating oil added less than a penny to end at $3.1251 per gallon. Gasoline futures fell by 4.86 cents to finish at $3.1541 per gallon.