Summer U.S. natural gas prices are the highest in seven years, according to the Energy Department. 

The U.S. natural gas spot price at the Henry Hub in June averaged $3.26 per million British thermal units, the highest price during any summer month, or April to September, since 2014.

Prices in July increased, averaging $3.67 per million British thermal units through the first two weeks of the month.

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Moreover, spot prices for July 14 in each of the more than 175 pricing hubs tracked by Natural Gas Intelligence, a price reporting agency, exceeded $3 per million British thermal units.

This includes supply hubs that have traditionally traded at notable discounts to the Henry Hub, such as the Eastern Gas South hub near the Appalachian Basin and the Waha hub near the Permian Basin.

Tighter U.S. natural gas supply and demand balances in recent months contributed to price increases, the EIA said. As well, less natural gas has been injected into working storage in the U.S. than average this summer, adding upward pressure on prices. 

This summer, more natural gas exports, pipelines and from liquefied natural gas, have reduced the supply available for domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, warm weather this summer has increased natural gas consumption for electric power. June 2021 was the hottest June on record for the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The EIA expects tight U.S. natural gas market balances will continue through the rest of 2021, with the spot price at the Henry Hub averaging above $3.00 per million British thermal units through March 2022 and $2.96 per million British thermal units in the second half of 2022.