|2020-04-10 来源： 中国石化新闻网|
多年来，美国天然气价格一直供过于求。在疫情来临之前，冬季是取暖燃料天然气需求的高峰期，天然气的交易价格低至2美元/MMBtu以下。由于疫情对工业需求的影响，导致价格跌至1.50美元，这是自1995年以来的最低水平。如今，纽约商品交易所（Nymex Henry Hub）的基准价格仍然非常低，约为1.80美元/MMBtu。
舒晓玲 摘译自 福布斯（Forbes）
Higher Natural Gas Prices Could Lead Recovery Of U.S. Energy Industry
It’s hard to find bright spots amid the doom and gloom in today’s oil markets. No matter what happens at the OPEC and G20 meetings later this week in terms of supply management, the oil market faces a long road back to breaking the mid $50-a-barrel range that WTI crude was trading at before the coronavirus outbreak.
But analysts and energy executives are increasingly looking to natural gas markets as a first source of relief for U.S. producers. American producers’ response to low crude prices, including shutting in uneconomic wells and slashing drilling capital budgets by 30 percent and even 50 percent, will have a dramatic effect on domestic natural gas output as well as oil.
Roughly 40 percent of U.S. gas production is so-called “associated gas,” a byproduct of drilling for oil. That means the sharp drop in domestic crude output will result in a significant reduction in gas production, too. And many experts think this could result in a faster, sharper recovery in prices for U.S. gas compared to oil, where it could take a couple years to work off the vast inventories that are now building due to today’s unprecedented supply surplus.
U.S. gas prices have been beset by oversupply for years. Before the coronavirus outbreak, natural gas traded at depressed levels below $2 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) during the heart of winter — peak demand season for the heating fuel. Concerns about the impact of coronavirus on industrial demand later took prices to the $1.50 level — a low not seen since 1995. Today, benchmark Nymex Henry Hub prices are still extremely low at around $1.80 per MMBtu.
But investors and traders are focused on the future and many see a much brighter outlook for the commodity. While U.S. independent producers have generally seen their share prices slashed by at least 50 percent in 2020, gas producers have fared much better.
Shares of EQT, the largest gas producer in America, actually show a slight year-to-date gain. That’s impressive considering the widespread carnage the coronavirus has unleashed on the corporate world.