Source Pravda.Ru

Natural gas prices to increase desperately

Natural gas prices will sky rocket this October according to Pacific Gas and Electric Company due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita which took a toll on the industry.

The economic impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will be felt on natural gas bills in October, as customers can expect to pay $17.45 more for the fuel in October, compared to October of 2004 - an increase of 70.8%.

While natural gas costs have been climbing in recent years because of growing demand for the fuel, the hurricanes' devastation of natural gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico caused prices to surge nationally.

Currently, 72% of the 819 manned natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are off-line, curtailing 80% of the daily gas production in that region. In the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes, natural gas prices have surged nationwide, but the level of the increase in cost seen in October is expected to fall in the coming months. It is expected that natural gas bills for December and January will be 40-50% higher compared with last year, AHN reports.