BY JEFF SANTIAGO Associated Press gas prices were set to remain low in November but fell in December as demand from the U.S. and Europe declined.
In addition, new production from the United States has continued to fall.
The decline in U.N. energy aid, however, is expected to help prop up prices in the near term, according to Energy Information Administration data.
Analysts expect U.P. natural gas prices to remain below $2.60 per million British thermal units (Btu) for much of 2017.
That would make the average U.K. gas price more than 10% lower than the $2 per million Btu average in December.
But the price will likely drop again this year, with prices starting to climb around the world.
Gas prices are up more than 15% in Europe and the United Kingdom since the start of the year.
China has been the main driver of the price rise.
Prices in China have been increasing steadily, but this year they are forecast to increase by an average of more than 20% for the year, according the IEA.
Meanwhile, the price of gas in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected more than double the current average price.
Last month, the UAE government announced a $30 billion investment in a new pipeline that will bring natural gas from the Gulf to the UAE’s mainland via the Red Sea.
According to the IAEA, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have all announced their own investments in the pipeline, but they are unlikely to be enough to offset the cost of U.U. natural-gas imports.
However, Qatar, which has been struggling to recover from a spill of oil in its Red Sea port of Jeddah, has said it will invest $100 billion in the Gulf, with the aim of bringing the total to $300 billion.
Some analysts have questioned the long-term viability of the U,U pipeline.
As part of the pipeline’s completion, the ITA expects that it will carry up to 9.5 million barrels of natural gas per day to the mainland.
“I think we will see a big price fall in the first quarter of 2018, especially as prices in Europe remain relatively high,” the IAA said in a statement.
U.S.-UAE natural gas supply will remain limited for a long time, but the IBA said the two sides were working to meet the UAE’s demand for natural gas.
Oil producers will be able to get natural gas at prices similar to what they have been paying for oil, the company said.
Natural gas prices have continued to drop in the U., but the UAB price fell more than 60% in December from its peak in December last year.