U.S. Henry Hub natural gas prices in 2023 were the lowest since mid-2020

Henry the Hub, I Am I Am – the Evolution of the Natural Gas Benchmark | RBN  Energy


The U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas price averaged $2.57 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2023, about a 62% drop from the 2022 average annual price, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

Record-high natural gas production, flat consumption, and rising natural gas inventories contributed to lower prices in 2023 compared with 2022. The monthly average Henry Hub price was below $3.00/MMBtu in every month except January, with the lowest monthly average in May at $2.19/MMBtu.

Record-high natural gas production that outpaced growth in natural gas consumption was the primary driver of lower prices in 2023. The Energy Information Administration estimated that U.S. dry natural gas production averaged a record-high 104 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2023 in its December Short-Term Energy Outlook, 4% higher than the 2022 annual average.

Production increased in the Permian region, driven by improved well-level productivity and higher crude oil prices in 2023, as well as in the Haynesville region and the Appalachia region, according to the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report.

Warmer-than-average temperatures in January and February 2023—the peak of heating season—led to reduced consumption in the residential and commercial sectors and the lowest total U.S. natural gas consumption for these months in seven years. Temperatures were relatively mild in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast, where 50%–70% of households report using natural gas as their primary space-heating fuel. Mild temperatures also led to lower withdrawals of natural gas from underground storage.

Overall, natural gas demand increased by 3% in 2023 compared with 2022. Increased exports and a slight increase in natural gas consumed for electricity generation offset lower residential and commercial sector consumption. Liquefied natural gas exports rose 12% in 2023 compared with 2022, and natural gas exports by pipeline increased 9% over the same period.