Winter Forecast Calls for Low Natural Gas Prices and Relatively Mild Weather

From The Columbus Dispatch:
Here’s one winter forecast that most people will be glad to hear:

Natural gas prices are low and look to stay that way.

Demand for gas is increasing, but not nearly enough to catch up to growth in supply, according to analysts. That, plus a forecast of a relatively mild winter, adds up to a continuation of low prices through the heating season.

“I think, overall this winter, we’ll have a little extra in our pockets and save on heating,” said Paul Pastelok, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather in State College, Pa.

In Ohio, 67 percent of households heat with gas, according to the Census Bureau. An additional 22 percent heat with electricity, whose market prices are closely tied to gas prices.

That leaves 11 percent that use other fuels, including propane, fuel oil, wood or others.

It’s a good time to heat with gas. The U.S. benchmark price is hovering between $2.50 and $3 per 1,000 cubic feet of gas, which is so low that some producers are struggling to make a profit.
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