GAS PRICES UP TO $2.990/MMBTU
PLATTS - NYMEX February natural gas futures extended gains overnight in the US leading up to Tuesday's open, on the back of current and midrange weather support. At 7:20 am ET (1220 GMT) the contract was gripping the upside at $2.990/MMBtu, up 3.7 cents on the session.
Frigid weather with temperatures "rivaling that of the past 100 years" will linger across the northeastern and central US to start January, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said in a January 1 forecast. AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures are expected to be below zero over much of the Northeast and well below zero in most of the Midwest.
Further out, the six-to-10-day and eight-to-14-day projections from the National Weather Service show below-average temperatures engulfing portions of the Northwest and a majority of the country's eastern two-thirds, which should keep demand for heating in the residential and commercial sectors and consequently natural gas consumption levels elevated in the weeks ahead.
"Energy demands will skyrocket. Household heating budgets may take a huge hit," Sosnowski added.
Withdrawals from underground natural gas storage facilities are expected to climb into the 200-Bcf range over the next three or four weeks as the cold weather supports rising demand.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.23 a barrel at 0808 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close, but down from a high of $69.37 earlier in the day. Brent on Monday rose to $70.37 a barrel, its highest since December 2014, the start of a three-year oil price slump. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.84 a barrel, down from a high of $63.89 earlier, but up 11 cents from their last settlement. WTI hit $64.89 on Tuesday, also the highest since December 2014.