US natural gas futures trading above $5.5 per million British thermal units on Friday, the highest since November 6th on expectations of stronger demand after the US struck a gas deal with the European Union, to help Europe wean off Russian energy dependence.
The deal secures an additional volume of at least 15 billion cubic meters of LNG to Europe this year, with the long-term goal of ensuring 50 bcm per year until 2030. Exports topped a record 14 billion cubic feet for the third time in a week with the US already producing LNG near full capacity. Meanwhile domestically, late winter weather is giving a final boost to heating demand, with satellite data indicating colder temperatures until at least April 1st.
On a weekly basis, the contract is expected to show a more than 10% jump, the steepest since the week ending March 4th.