Natural gas outlook is good - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Natural gas outlook is good

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

October 7, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - natural gas is expected to be in abundance this winter and it likely won't cost anymore than it did last year.

Even though natural gas production was interrupted by hurricanes, things are expected to be back to normal soon.

After seeing gasoline stations empty in recent weeks, many South Georgians wondered if their natural gas heaters also might run out of fuel. The Natural Gas Industry says even though half of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is still getting back on line after Hurricane Ike, the supply is still plentiful.

"We have more sources of supply," said WG&L's Director of Fiscal Affairs John Vansant. "The storage facility is looking great. It's 75 percent full, and that's a lot of gas that they can hold in storage."

In June the price of natural gas spiked to $13 a unit, but now the price has tumbled to just about seven dollars, close to last winter's cost.

"The price has fallen forty to 45 percent, and you know if everybody was worried about a big supply problem out there, that would not have happened," Vansant said.

Many South Georgians heat their home and run appliances with propane, and dealers say the supply of propane is fine.

"I encourage everybody to go ahead and fill up. I don't see a supply problem this winter," said Modern Gas Vice President Mark Holloway

Both Water Gas and Light and Modern Gas say the price of natural gas is falling, because the struggling economy has industry not using as much, and the less demand means better prices for people heating their homes this winter.

The price of propane right now is about $2.70 a gallon, but dealers say they expect that price to go down a few pennies soon.

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