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Bentek: U.S. Natural Gas In The Midst Of A Sea Change That Will Alter Flows, Prices

HOUSTON, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Massive shale-driven production growth in the U.S. Northeast and soaring demand from the Southeast will turn the nation's traditional south-to-north and west-to-east pipeline natural gas flows and price spreads upside down, according to Bentek Energy®, the natural gas and oil analytics unit of Platts, a leading global energy and commodities information provider.

"Based on our latest modeling, the U.S. is embarking on a true sea change," said Rocco Canonica, Bentek Energy director of energy analysis and lead author of the just-released 10-year outlook report Son of a Beast -- Utica Triggers Regional Role Reversal.  "The Northeast is poised to switch from the nation's largest demand region to a net supply region, and the U.S. Southeast is racing to become a much larger net demand region after being a major supplier to the U.S. gas market."

The 114-page report released at Houston Platts Commodity Week, an annual energy and biofuels outlook event, says that more than one-third of the U.S. natural gas production increase from 2013 to 2023 -- or 9.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) -- is expected to come from the Utica and Marcellus shale formations in the northeastern U.S., while nearly half of U.S. demand growth, or 9.4 Bcf/d, is expected to occur in the Southeast over the same period. 

"This will contribute to making the Southeast a premium market relative to most other regions, pulling increasing amounts of gas from the Northeast, Texas and the Midcontinent," said Tony Sweet, Bentek Energy senior energy analyst and one of many speakers at Platts Commodity Week.

Bentek forecasts a 9% rise in natural gas prices by late decade at Henry Hub, a key North American hub and pricing reference.

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