Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 17:32 20 Nov 2018 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

Tomorrow’s EIA report (week ended 16 Nov) – EA Final Estimate: -120 bcf

  • We forecast tomorrow’s EIA report will show the season’s first triple-digit withdrawal at 120 bcf. Res-com demand spiked by 14.4 bcf/d w/w, as freezing temperatures in the Midwest and South Central sent national gas-weighted HDDs skyrocketing by 80% w/w. Houston and Chicago both endured low temperatures 20°F below historical norms—for Chicago this meant lows in the teens, while Houston was under a freeze watch with lows below 30°F on 13–14 November. Production could not compensate for the stronger demand pull, falling by 0.4 bcf/d w/w. The DCP Sand Hills NGL Pipeline ruptured in the Permian on 13 November, creating gas processing issues, which combined with EPNG performance caps to cut Permian outflows by 0.4 bcf/d w/w.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 23 Nov) – EA Estimate: -68 bcf

  • We project that the current week will see the withdrawal rate moderate to 68 bcf. GWHDDs are forecast to fall back by 5% w/w, causing res-com demand to experience a w/w dip of 1.4 bcf/d.
  • Industrial demand is on track to decline by 1.6 bcf/d w/w. More moderate temperatures will see a slight easing of gas use for industrial heating, while the Thanksgiving holiday will push baseline industrial gas use down as well.
  • We forecast total Lower 48 production will rise by 0.6 bcf/d w/w to 84.7 bcf/d. The gains are geographically diverse, with 0.1 bcf/d in w/w growth expected from the East Texas, South Texas, DJ, and Piceance basis. Further east, Appalachia is set to grow by 0.1 bcf/d w/w, after flows on NEXUS jumped 0.1 bcf/d w/w to an average of 0.7 bcf/d following the 16 November start-up of the pipeline’s TEAL project in eastern Ohio.
  • The remaining 0.1 bcf/d in w/w production uplift is set to come from the Permian, though this is off a low baseline after last week’s DCP Sand Hills pipeline outage. While Permian gas output was rising following the rupture, a 19 November force majeure at Kinder Morgan’s Compressor Station 168 in Bailey County, TX due to a horsepower issue pushed flows down 0.2 bcf/d d/d on 20 November and will stymie the region’s weekly growth.
  • Total supply will also get a boost from Canadian net imports, which are projected to rise by 0.2 bcf/d w/w. This week will see Westcoast Energy begin to ramp up capacity on its T-South system by 0.1 bcf/d w/w to 1.0 bcf/d. The pipeline has been operating well under its usual 1.6 bcf/d capacity since a 10 October rupture in British Columbia. The additional capacity will see a 0.1 bcf/d w/w jump in flows through the Sumas border point into Washington state. Westcoast is expected to continue increasing T-South’s capacity until it hits 1.3 bcf/d by the end of November.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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