U.S. natural gas futures rose on Friday en route to a third weekly gain on higher European prices as concerns persisted around supply.
Front-month gas futures for September delivery were up 15.3 cents, or 1.6%, to $9.53 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) by 10:22 a.m. EDT (1422 GMT). For the week, the front-month was up about 2% so far.
So far this year, the gas front-month was up about 157% as higher prices in Europe and Asia keep demand for U.S. LNG exports strong. Global gas prices have soared this year following supply disruptions linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Gas was trading around $86 per mmBtu in Europe and $70 in Asia.
“The market is acknowledging the fact that record-breaking prices for natural gas in Europe is impacting prices here, and I think that’s giving us a bit of a support today,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.
The expiry of the September contract could also contribute to some volatility heading into the weekend, Flynn added.
But some analysts have cautioned that the lift from global gas prices may be capped by limited capacity in the U.S. for exports, and more recently an extension to an outage at the fire-hit Freeport LNG export hub in Texas.
Prices hit $10 per mmBtu for the first time since 2008 earlier this week, but had retreated slightly after the Freeport LNG announcement, which would translate into more stockpiles available in the U.S.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported an injection of 60 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas to storage during the week ended Aug. 19, mostly in line with expectations.
The Freeport outage was, meanwhile, also seen limiting potential U.S. supply to Europe heading into winter. The region was also gearing for a scheduled outage on the Nord Stream pipeline that could hit supplies of Russian supply.
“With record high European pricing adding a new element to this year’s market equation, we expect some continued wide price swings as we still see an advance in October futures back to the $10 area as a minimum,” Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.