Marcellus Shale fuels lower natural and propane gas prices this winter

By Keystone Clearwater Solutions -

Fueled by Marcellus shale development, natural gas prices in the midstate just went down 4.7 percent from summer as winter begins.

That will leave natural gas prices about 0.9 percent lower than last winter, according to UGI Gas Service, which serves the midstate.

Propane prices are also down, averaging about $1.50-$1.75 per gallon in the midstate, said Mike Mutter, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association.

That’s as much as 25 percent less than the $2 per gallon seen last winter. “It’s down and probably lower than we’ve seen this time of year in the last 10 years or more,” Mutter said.

Factors include plentiful supply and warmer temperatures so far this winter, he said. After last winter, a lot of people added more storage and filled their tanks early, leaving inventories high leading into this winter, Mutter said. Most of the propane in this area comes from Texas, as pipelines and plants for refining propane from Marcellus shale are still being built.

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