Natural gas prices have surged more than 35% in the past month, as worries grow there is not enough gas stored up for the winter should temperatures be especially cold in the northern hemisphere.
The usually quiet market for the commodity has become hot in the last couple of weeks, as investors focus on the growth in demand around the world and supplies remain below normal. The biggest problem area is Europe, where supply is at a record low for this time of year.
Even in the U.S., the amount of gas in storage is 7.6% below the five-year average, according to recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas is an important heating fuel and is responsible for about 35% of power generation in the U.S., the federal agency found.
“People are starting to throw the ‘crisis’ word around” when it comes to Europe, said John Kilduff, partner with Again Capital. He said natural gas in storage in Europe is 16% below the five-year average, and the level in storage is a record low for September.