International Gas Prices – January 14 , 2015

NBP: Downswing since end November

 NBP and coal priceThe NBP price stood at €23.2/MWh ($8.4/MBtu) in December, having fallen by 2% in one month and by 18% compared to December 2013 (€28.3/MWh). On November 25, despite the Norwegian disruptions favoring an upturn, the NBP began to slide, descending from €25.7/MWh ($9.4/MBtu) to €20/MWh ($7/MBtu) in the first few days of January. The reasons for this downtrend are the mild weather conditions, the non-impact (so far) of the Russo-Ukrainian crisis and changes on the energy scene. The coal price dropped 15% in one month, from €59/t in early December to its present level of €50/t. Asian LNG finds itself below $10/MBtu, compared to $15/MBtu in October. Finally, the oil price is in free fall, down by 56% between June ($112/b) and January (with a monthly average of $49/b and a price on January 13 of $45/b). Brent forward prices are expected to average $52 in 2015, which, if accurate, would bring European prices in 100%-oil indexed contracts below €19/MWh ($6.6/MBtu) by next summer. NBP prices for summer 2015 are currently in line with these levels.

International Gas Prices – 2014 summary and trends

Brent: Expected to fall in 2015

Brent priceIn 2014, the Brent price stood at $99/b, down by nearly $10/b compared to 2013 ($108.6). Of course, the major event of the year was the Brent’s plunge from $112/b in June to $62/b in December. The trend continued in January 2015: the Brent lost another $10 and reached $45/b. The reason for this downswing, over and above flagging economic growth and the dollar’s progression since June (-12% for the euro, worth $1.18 in January), is OPEC’s decision on November 27 to abandon the role of swing producer. OPEC aims to get producers of non-OPEC oil, LTO and high-cost unconventional oil to slow their increase in output to avoid a steady erosion of OPEC’s market share.