Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 17:33 13 Mar 2018 by . Last edited 15:12 5 Nov 2018.

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 9 Mar) – EA Final Estimate: -95 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA report will show a withdrawal of 95 bcf. Cold weather in the Northeast, as well as the 7 March ‘snow bomb’ storm, pushed gas-weighted heating degree days (GWHDDs) up by close to 10% w/w, which boosted res-com demand by 4.4 bcf/d w/w to 34.3 bcf/d. The cold also led to a 0.5 bcf/d w/w rise in industrial heating demand.
  • Total supply rose by 0.5 bcf/d w/w due to a spike in imports from Canada. Eastern cross-border flows shifted w/w from 0.3 bcf/d in US exports to 0.3 bcf/d in US imports as cold weather hit the region. Imports from Canada averaged 5.9 bcf/d for the week, a 0.8 bcf/d w/w rise.
  • Flows to Cove Point hovered in the 0.1-0.2 bcf/d range throughout the reference week, which was down by 0.2 bcf/d w/w after hitting a high of 0.5 bcf/d on 1 March. The facility’s lower w/w call on gas led to total Lower 48 LNG feedgas demand falling by 0.1 bcf/d w/w to 3.4 bcf/d. The next tanker due at Cove Point, Patris, is not scheduled to arrive until 9 April.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 16 Mar) – EA Estimate: -99 bcf

  • We forecast that the current week will see a withdrawal of 99 bcf, as low temperatures 10°F below historical average persist in Boston and New York and a third winter Nor’easter hit the region today (13 March). GWHDDs are projected to rise by 5% w/w, which will result in res-com demand increasing by 1.8 bcf/d w/w to 36.1 bcf/d.
  • The South Central salt storage caverns will see their largest withdrawal since the first week of February, according to our activity sample. These ultra-flexible facilities had seen net injections in the intervening period as moderated temperatures depressed local demand.
  • Production is on track to increase by 0.1 bcf/d w/w, with increases of 0.1 bcf/d w/w in each of the Permian and Rockies pacing the growth. Total supply will rise by 0.7 bcf/d w/w, thanks to a 0.5 bcf/d w/w gain in imports from Canada. The increase in pipeline imports will come despite a projected WCSB production decline of 0.2 bcf/d w/w to 15.2 bcf/d, as well as work on Westcoast Energy’s Aitken Creek Lateral that began 9 March restricting 0.2 bcf/d in cross-border flows.
  • Infrastructure issues continue to plague SoCalGas even as it lifted a system-wide curtailment on electric generation customers last week. Pacific storage levels are below 200 bcf for the first time since May 2014 after the February cold snap, which has led to a limit on withdrawals from the Honor Rancho facility through end-March due to low inventories. This week will bring some respite, as the Pacific region is forecast to see net injections for the first time since October 2017.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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