Plunge in NGLs prices add to US gas producers' woes
North American producers have, since the collapse in Henry Hub prices, relied on higher-value liquids to offset low natural gas prices, but the hedge is ending
Shaun Polczer, CALGARY.
Prices for ethane and propane fell 48% and 32%,
respectively, in 2012, data released by the Energy Information
Administration (EIA) shows, placing further stress on the
already difficult economics of unconventional natural gas. Spot
ethane prices hit an all-time low of $0.22.5 per gallon in
December 2012, compared with $0.78/g at this time last year.
Propane has fallen to $0.80/g from $1.39/g in the same period.
Prices for secondary products butane, isobutane and natural
gasoline also fell by 5-12% in the past year. This is bad news