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Cheap Natural Gas Hits New York City

Workers make minor repairs on the pipeline hub run by Spectra Energy Corp. in Guilford, Pennsylvania
Workers make minor repairs on the pipeline hub run by Spectra Energy Corp. in Guilford, PennsylvaniaPhotograph by Andrew Russell/AP Photo

Of all the weird stuff that must have happened in New York City on Halloween, perhaps the strangest thing occurred in the energy markets. On Oct. 31, natural gas prices in Manhattan were nearly 40¢ cheaper than in Louisiana. That hasn’t happened in eight years.

Consumers in the Northeast and New England typically pay some of the country’s highest prices for natural gas, especially in the winter, when heating demand spikes. During a cold spell last January, the price of natural gas delivered to New York City hit a record high; it cost more than gas delivered across most of Asia, where prices are often triple what they are in the U.S.