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Weekly Energy Market Update: December 14, 2015

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A number of key factors can impact natural gas and electricity prices, including weather conditions and oil prices.

In the Weekly Energy Market Update for December 14, 2015, Tim Bigler — Direct Energy Business Energy Advisor — discusses the potential price impact of the El Niño weather pattern and historically low oil prices. 

El Niño Weather Impact 

The El Niño weather pattern is typically spells mild weather for the U.S. Northeast — a key natural gas consumption region.

How has El Niño impacted energy consumption this year? If current trends continue, we could see a substantial year over year surplus in natural gas storage due to decreased natural gas use.  

Oil Price Impact on Natural Gas 

There are many facilities and power generators across the country that can burn dual fuel. Depending on the facility, they might be able to burn any combination of natural gas, propane, heating oil, and more. 

Petroleum fuel prices, depending on the fuel, are 30-50 percent lower than last year. So, what are the potential implications of lower prices? For customers, this could mean cheaper prices to heat and power their home or business. 

However, lower prices are also leading to reduced production in key regions like Eagle Ford, which could lead to a future price increase. 

Natural Gas Prices

With the end of the year upon us, we've switched our reporting to 2017. Across the board, and on a fixed basis, natural gas prices remain near all-time lows. 

Electricity Prices

Similar to natural gas prices, electricity prices are at all-time lows. 

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Tim Bigler, Senior Market Strategist at Direct Energy Business, is a 30+ year veteran of the U.S. natural gas, electric, and oil market.

Posted: December 14, 2015