Natural gas prices are frequently represented in currency units per volume or currency units per energy content, depending on the market. For example, per million British thermal units, thousand cubic feet, or 1,000 cubic meters, in US dollars or other currencies. For natural gas pricing comparisons, multiply $ per million Btu by 1.025 to get $ per Mcf of pipeline-quality gas, which is what is delivered to customers. A million Btu is about equal to a thousand cubic feet of natural gas in terms of basic comparisons. The energy value of pipeline-quality gas is somewhat higher than pure methane, which has 10.47 kilowatt-hours per cubic metre (1,012 British thermal units per cubic foot). Natural gas is mostly methane as it comes out of the ground, but it can have a wide range of energy values, ranging from significantly lower (due to non-hydrocarbon gas dilution) to much higher (because to the inclusion of ethane, propane, and heavier compounds) than conventional pipeline-quality gas.
Natural gas is marketed in a variety of ways.
Natural gas can be priced in dollars per therm, dollars per MMBtu, or dollars per cubic foot in the United States.
1 To translate these costs from one price basis to another, the heat content of natural gas per physical unit (such as Btu per cubic foot) is required. The annual average heat content of natural gas provided to consumers in the United States in 2020 was around 1,037 Btu per cubic foot. As a result, 100 Ccf of natural gas equals 103,700 Btu, or 1.037 therms. A thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas equals 1.037 million British thermal units (MBtu), or 10.37 therms.
These calculations can be used to convert natural gas prices from one pricing basis to another (assuming a heat content of 1,037 Btu per cubic foot):
Natural gas heat content varies by location and type of natural gas customer, as well as with time. For information on the heat content of the natural gas they supply to their clients, consumers and analysts should contact natural gas distribution firms or natural gas suppliers. Customers’ invoices may include this information from some natural gas distribution providers or utilities.
1 Natural gas was measured in cubic feet by the US Energy Information Administration from 1964 to 1964 at a pressure of 14.65 psia (poundspersquareinchabsolute) at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Since 1965, the pressurebase has been 14.73 psia at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is it possible to own natural gas stock?
Natural gas investors have a variety of options for gaining exposure to the fuel. One option is to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as to acquire a futures contract or to invest in natural gas stocks on an exchange.
Natural gas ETFs include the United States Natural Gas Fund (ARCA:UNG) and the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas ETF, according to ETF Database (ARCA:BOIL). It’s worth noting that certain ETFs provide exposure to both oil and gas markets at the same time.
If you’re thinking about investing in natural gas futures, keep in mind that these contracts are incredibly liquid and active throughout the week. On Thursdays, when the US Department of Energy issues its weekly natural gas storage data, trading in natural gas futures is typically heaviest.
NG Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures, QG E-mini Natural Gas Futures, and Delivered Natural Gas Futures are some of the most popular natural gas futures products.
Finally, investors can choose to put their money into natural gas companies. Many firms who are exploring for or producing natural gas are also interested in oil, much like ETFs.
It’s challenging to discover businesses that are solely focused on natural gas. Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU,TSX:SU) and Devon Energy are two significant firms that are actively invested in natural gas (NYSE:DVN).
Check out our list of the top oil and gas stocks on the TSX and TSXV if you’re looking for something different.
What are the several ways that natural gas is traded?
A futures contract, such as the CME’s Henry Hub natural gas futures contract, is the most frequent mechanism for traders to take a position on natural gas. With a futures contract, traders agree to supply a specific amount of natural gas at a predetermined price at a future date. This does, however, imply that the trader may have to accept delivery of the asset at some point.
What is the best way to invest in natural gas prices?
Investors can bet on rising natural-gas prices by purchasing exchange-traded funds that invest in gas futures or stock in natural-gas businesses. ETFs that buy futures, such as United States Natural Gas (UNG), can be volatile, and can sometimes lag the price of natural gas due to technical reasons. Furthermore, if gas prices rise, gas producers’ earnings and consequently their stock prices may grow faster than the price of the commodity itself.
How do you go about getting gas?
Buying shares in a gas firm or units in a gas MLP outright, through a traditional or online broker, is by far the most straightforward. The majority of gas equities, including significant foreign businesses like Royal Dutch Shell and Total, are traded on the two major U.S. markets, the NYSE and the NASDAQ.
How do you go about investing in gas?
Since the mid-nineteenth century, natural gas has been a stable source of energy, accounting for almost a third of America’s yearly energy production. It has become a mainstream commodity on the financial markets as a result of its availability and necessity.
There are several methods to invest in natural gas, and we’ve compiled a list of the most popular ones below.
Invest in natural gas ETFs
Exchange-traded funds allow you to invest in a broader range of assets rather than relying on just a few companies.
Most ETFs are straightforward and easy to use, and trading them is similar to trading traditional equities. ETFs are viewed as less risky, in addition to being reasonably simple. You can protect yourself against some of the market’s daily changes by investing in a basket of assets.
If you’re new to investing, ETFs might be the ideal option for you; natural gas is a popular commodity with a variety of firms and ETFs to pick from. Some of the most well-known are:
- VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas (UGAZ) is a leveraged short-term trading ETF that tries to treble daily natural gas price moves.
- VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas (DGAZ) is a short-term trading inverse leveraged ETF that tries to treble daily natural gas price changes in the opposite way.
- The iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO) tracks a 50-company index of oil and gas explorers and producers in the United States.
- The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), which follows an index of oil and gas explorers and producers, is another option.
- The VanEckVectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF (FRAK) tracks an index of roughly 40 firms that use fracking or other unconventional technologies to generate coal seam gas, shale gas, and other types of natural gas.
- The First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG) is a stock exchange-traded fund that follows over 30 natural gas explorers and producers.
Is there a natural gas exchange-traded fund (ETF)?
UNL, UNG, and GAZ are the three natural gas exchange-traded funds (ETFs) ordered by one-year trailing total returns. To acquire exposure to natural gas prices, all three ETFs hold natural gas futures contracts.
How is the price of natural gas sold to customers calculated?
At a certain temperature and pressure, a cubic foot of natural gas is the amount of gas that can be contained in a cube one foot on a side. However, gas is not produced on a large scale “Temperature and pressure are “standard.” The amount of gas that may be held in a one-foot cube is affected by temperature and pressure. The more gas that can be trapped in a cubic foot of space, the higher the pressure. Conversely, when the temperature rises, the amount of gas that can be trapped in a cubic foot of space decreases. As a result, when a gas is measured, it must also be measured in terms of pressure and temperature. The volume of the gas at its current temperature and pressure can then be rectified to indicate the volume of the same gas at a standard temperature and pressure. The volume provided by producers to the Texas Railroad Commission at standard temperature and pressure is also the volume utilized to calculate the price the purchaser will pay for the gas.
When measuring volume, another factor to consider is the amount of water present. When most gas is created, some water vapor is dissolved in it. Water vapor takes up a lot of room. As a result, gas containing a lot of water vapor has less natural gas per unit volume than gas containing no water vapor. “There is no water vapor in “dry gas.” “Water vapor is present in “wet gas.” “The highest amount of water vapor that may be held in a gas without precipitating out as liquid water is called a “saturated gas.” As a result, measured gas volumes must be corrected for the presence of water vapor.
Technically, gas measurement is a well developed science. Gas meters do not directly measure volume. An orifice plate is a plate having a small hole in it through which the gas must travel in a gas meter. The pressure on either side of the orifice is measured by the meter. The volume of gas going through the aperture can be calculated using the pressure differential (the difference in pressure on either side of the orifice).
Gas is sold based on its heating value rather than its volume. British thermal units, or Btu’s, are used to measure the amount of heat in a room. At one atmosphere of pressure, a Btu is the amount of heat necessary to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The calorie equivalent of a Btu is 251.99 Btu.
We’ll have to go back to high school chemistry for this. Methane makes up the majority of natural gas. CH4 is the chemical formula for methane, a hydrocarbon molecule with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. However, natural gas may contain ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), butane (C4H10), and other hydrocarbons as it is created “hydrocarbons that are “heavier.” For the same amount of volume, heavier hydrocarbons have a higher heating value a higher Btu content.
At standard temperature and pressure (60 degrees Fahrenheit and 14.73 pounds per square inch), one cubic foot of methane gas contains exactly 1,000 Btus. One million Btus, or one MMBtu, is contained in one thousand cubic feet of methane, or 1 mcf. The MMBtu unit of measurement is used to price gas. Gas sold at $5 per MMBtu would be $5 per mcf if it was purely methane.
Natural gas, on the other hand, is frequently a mixture of methane, ethane, propane, and other hydrocarbons, thus its Btu content can easily reach 1,000 Btus per cubic foot. Because natural gas is sold in MMBtu units, it is necessary to determine not just its volume but also its Btu composition. The Btu content of gas is determined by obtaining a sample and analyzing it to identify its hydrocarbon elements. Because the hydrocarbon content of gas from a specific well does not fluctuate significantly over time, this is done once or twice a year for each well. “Natural gas that is “rich” in Btu concentration can have as much as 1,200 Btu per cubic foot or more. Carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other gases may be present in natural gas, lowering its heating value to less than 1,000 Btus per cubic foot.
MMBtus/mcf is the standard unit of measurement for gas Btu content. The Btu content of gas with a Btu content of 1,200 Btu per cubic foot is 1.2 MMBtus/mcf.
The volume of a gas can readily be converted to Btus once the heating value has been determined. If a well produces 100,000 mcf of gas with a heating value of 1,200 Btu per cubi foot, the total MMBtu’s of gas produced is calculated by multiplying mcf by MMBtu’s/mcf: 100,000 X 1.2 = 120,000 MMBtus.
A barrel of oil, for example, has around 5.8 MMBtus (depending on the constituency of the oil). As a result, a barrel of oil is about equivalent to 5.8 mcf of methane in terms of heating value. When firms report production or reserves in “barrels of oil equivalent,” or “boe,” they are converting their gas reserves into oil barrels at a 5.8-to-1 ratio. Methane is now significantly cheaper than oil based on its heating value. Oil would sell for $20.30 per barrel on a Btu-equivalent basis at the present price of natural gas, which is around $3.50 per mcf.
Even though the actual pricing is based on Btus, exploration companies must record their natural gas production in mcf on royalty checks. To determine the price per MMBtu, you must first determine the gas’s Btu content. Some businesses provide this data in their check details. If the information isn’t available, the corporation should supply it if asked. Without knowing the Btu content of the gas being produced, it is impossible to compare pricing between companies and wells.