Natural gas prices fall despite higher demand

Worries about soaring natural gas prices have evaporated as prices for the heating fuel have fallen by more than 60-percent. Clyde Gross, the senior natural gas manager for Northwestern Energy, says it’s an odd market with increased demand, and lower prices.

While the utility is having to buy gas daily to meet peak needs in the cold weather, Gross says the prices are cheaper than they were in early December. He says they tried to lock in gas at market prices from late summer into fall, and that has worked against them this year.

The actual delivery prices may be flat to five-percent less, while they aren’t 20-percent lower because the company bought up supplies months ago to protect customers, but that plan backfired. Gross says consumers could see their unit price fall, but their monthly bill could be up.

Northwestern has storage for only about six-to-eight percent of its yearly demand. They serve forty two thousand customers in South Dakota, and 40-thousand in Nebraska.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton