Light on the stuffing

Published at 17:49 21 Nov 2018 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

This week's North America Panorama is abridged due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Today’s report (week ended 16 Nov): EIA: -134 bcf, EA: -120 bcf

  • Today’s EIA print came in substantially above consensus, which had centred near a110 bcf withdrawal. Our estimate came in on the high end of surveys at -120 bcf. Such a massive swing in storage activity—more than 16 bcf/d w/w—can be hard for models to pinpoint. Knowing that the ramp in demand w/w would be enormous, our forecast had built in a 1.5 bcf/d w/w increase to linepack, which is contained in our ‘other demand’ estimate, to ready pipes for the additional demand. Post release, we increased this line item by 0.3 bcf/d. To align with today’s print, we also increased res-com demand by 1.1 bcf/d as gas heating intensity (GHI), which we define as mmcf/d gas burn per GWHDD, was likely appreciably stronger than our initial estimates on the significant ramp in heating demand. We have retained our power estimate, at 29.2 bcf/d, which was at the high end of estimates prior to the release.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 23 Nov): EA preliminary: -63 bcf

  • We expect the withdrawal rate to be cut nearly in half next week. Though GWHDDs are only marginally lower, a 4.0 bcf/d w/w giveback in the power sector combined with a holiday impact in the industrial sector have served to dampen demand by some 9 bcf/d w/w. A 0.7 bcf/d uptick in production, alongside marginal contributions from LNG sendout and Canadian net trade, have increased total supply by nearly 1 bcf/d.
  • Importantly, with the forecasts showing a shift to colder weather, our end-November inventory estimate stands at 2.96 tcf, a 40 bcf downward revision from last Thursday’s estimate.

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