Utility customers of Corning Natural Gas Corp. in New York State’s Finger Lakes region can thank their neighbors south of the border in Pennsylvania that they are now paying 50 percent less for their natural gas than they paid just one year ago. And they can also thank the energy companies who use hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale.
Corning Natural Gas Corp. customers are paying less for gas now than they have in a decade, and commodity costs are expected to remain low as the company begins purchasing gas for next winter.
CNG has been acquiring gas for about $3 per 1,000 cubic feet, down from $7-8 a year ago and from more than $10 a few years ago, company Vice President Jerry Sleve said. Gas prices have not been in the $3 range since early last decade, Sleve said.
“Whatever the cost of gas was last year, customers are probably paying at least 50 percent less,” Sleve said.
Lower prices have been attributed to a mild winter – a lower demand and a higher supply. Specifically for CNG, the company has tapped into Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania, which generally offer cheaper prices. Also, locally produced gas costs far less to transport.*
Too bad New York State is still faffing around (as my Brit friends would say) when it comes to fracking. In the meantime, let’s hope PA continues to be willing to send its cheap Marcellus gas north.
*Steuben Courier (Apr 9, 2012) – Corning Natural Gas prices drop, should remain low