WASHINGTON - The average wholesale price for natural gas dropped by 24 percent from January to February, according to Platts, the energy information business of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

At $7.56 per million Btu, this month's wholesale price is still 27 percent above the average price a year ago, but the high prices are showing signs of easing. Platts credited the drop to an unusually mild winter in many consumption regions and large inventories of natural gas in storage.

The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes similar trends in weather and natural gas storage, and predicts that "any further weakening of natural gas demand (from weather or other factors) could cause a sharp downward correction in prices during 2006."

Publication date: 02/20/2006