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Mixed forecast trends and ongoing concerns over loose shoulder season balances left natural gas futures stuck in neutral Tuesday. In the spot market, late-season wintry conditions inspired modest gains in the Rockies and Northeast, while West Texas returned to negative territory; the NGI Spot Gas National Avg. slid 1.5 cents to $2.37/MMBtu.

Natural gas futures were trading slightly higher early Wednesday as analysts were looking for prices to stay in a narrow range amid a mix of near-term fundamental drivers. The May Nymex futures contract was up 1.4 cents to $2.713/MMBtu at around 8:30 a.m. ET.

Market participants hoping for sustained natural gas prices above $3/MMBtu may have to keep hoping, because the fundamentals suggest it’s not going to happen, not even under the “craziest scenario,” according to Drillinginfo’s Bernadette Johnson.

Japanese utility conglomerate Jera Co., the largest natural gas buyer in the world, agreed Tuesday to purchase up to 1.2 million metric tons/year, or 155 MMcf/d, from a partner in the LNG Canada export terminal underway in British Columbia.

PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Co. continue to work toward sanctioning the multi-billion dollar ethane cracker proposed for southeast Ohio, a project spokesman said this week.


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