6:24am

Fri November 2, 2012
Business and the Economy

Ten Year Low in Natural Gas Prices Projected

Kentucky’s Public Service Commission projects natural gas prices this winter will be the lowest in a decade.   On average, customers can expect to pay about 12-percent less this November, as compared to a year ago.  Over the last four years, commission spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says natural gas prices have dropped 43 percent.  Melnykovych says the devastating storm in New England will not likely impact natural gas rates.

 "I mean if it affects it in any way it would be, while you’ve got the disruptions up there, you’re probably gonna have some reduction in demand for natural gas, so if anything, it would exert some downward pressure on prices,” said Melnykovych. Melnykovych says the drop in price is, by and large, due to a large supply of natural gas.  He says the nation has uncovered new reserves and more natural gas moving west to east through distribution systems.  Andrew Melnykovych says the number of households that rely on natural gas for heat has remained pretty constant. “At least in Kentucky, the proportion of people heating with natural gas has remained fairly stable and you’re getting in some areas I would think you’re getting conversion from fuel oil to natural gas probably more up in the northeast and in that area, so the consumption is actually going up,” added Melnykovych.  In 2008, the average wholesale cost of natural gas peaked in Kentucky.  Since then, the prices have consistently fallen.