This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 15, 2006

Platts: Natural Gas Wholesale Prices Down 24 Percent

The wholesale price for natural gas dropped by 24 percent from January to February, according to Platts, the energy information business of The McGraw-Hill Companies. At $7.56 per million Btu (British thermal unit), this month's wholesale price is still 27 percent above the average price a year ago, but at least the high prices are showing signs of easing. Platts credited the drop to an unusually mild winter (this was before the latest snowstorm in the Northeast) and large inventories of natural gas in storage. The latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) also notes the trends in weather and natural gas storage, and predicts that "any further weakening of natural gas demand (from weather or other factors) could cause a sharp downward correction in prices during 2006." See the Platts press release and the EIA's "Short Term Energy Outlook."