Extensive market research has shown that volatility is the only characteristic that is constant in the natural gas marketplace. Methods which simply tie natural gas prices to crude oil prices as a predictor are, at best, inadequate and dangerous.

A more useful and realistic gas market assessment can be obtained by studying the relationship among key parameters within the market. Among others, population-weighted heating degree days, amount of gas in storage, demand growth, total deliverability, seasonal volatility, and net imports all have a profound influence on price.

These factors are presented in four separate cases using a dynamic, intertemporial simulation model. To address more "What IP questions, the algorithm is perturbed with variables such as the assumption of the mildest winter on record, followed by the coldest spring on record. The four cases presented are considered to be "mainstream" conditions that will most likely exist, however, some extremes are imposed to account for the unusual.

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