Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 20:08 22 Jan 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 18 Jan) – EA Final Estimate: -163 bcf

  • We forecast that Thursday’s EIA report will show a w/w doubling of the withdrawal rate to 163 bcf, driven by a 30% w/w hike in gas-weighted HDDs (GWHDDs) as cold weather descended, leading to a 9.6 bcf/d w/w jump in res-com demand. Power burn and gas use in the industrial sector also grew w/w, by 2.7 bcf/d and 0.7 bcf/d respectively. Growth from all three key sectors of supply was not enough to offset the rise in demand. Net imports from Canada and LNG sendout each moved up by 0.2 bcf/d w/w, while total Lower 48 output rose by 0.3 bcf/d w/w to 85.1 bcf/d as the San Juan basin recovered by 0.2 bcf/d w/w from freeze-offs earlier this month.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 25 Jan) – EA Estimate: -198 bcf

  • We project that next week’s EIA report will show a withdrawal of 198 bcf. Continued cold weather in the Eastern US will push GWHDDs up by nearly 10% w/w, with temperatures in Chicago, Boston, and New York falling below 10°F on 20-21 January, lifting res-com demand by 4.4 bcf/d w/w.
  • The cold in the Northeast will weigh on regional output, as western Pennsylvania temperatures dropped below zero Fahrenheit on 20-21 January, causing freeze-offs. Appalachia receipts are on track to decline by 1.0 bcf/d w/w. Weather-related losses in Appalachia total 6 bcf thus far in the current week. We forecast total Lower 48 production will drop by 1.1 bcf/d w/w to 83.9 bcf/d.
  • Even as Northeast weather is forecast to moderate later in the week, Appalachia output will also have to cope with the 21 January pipeline explosion on Texas Eastern’s system in eastern Ohio. The incident will cut TETCO flows by 1.0 bcf/d after crews shut-in the affected pipe yesterday.
  • We forecast net imports from Canada will rise by 0.2 bcf/d w/w as cross-border trade in the US Northeast picks up to account for some of the production lost in the region. Flows through the Grand Island border crossing in western New York state, which connects to the Empire State Pipeline network, flipped from 0.1 bcf/d in net exports to Canada to 0.1 bcf/d in net imports for the first time this winter on 19 January, a trend which is likely to continue through the cold snap.
  • LNG feedgas demand is on track to fall by 0.6 bcf/d w/w, with the whole decline coming from Corpus Christi. After averaging 0.6 bcf/d in gas intake in the reference week, flows to the facility dropped to zero on 18 January and have made camp there since. Our flow data shows that Corpus Christi remains below its maximum storage capacity of 10 bcf after shipping a cargo on 15 January. Cheniere has not reported any pipeline maintenance on its feeder pipes, leaving on-site maintenance as the likely culprit behind the decline.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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