Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:49 29 Jan 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 25 Jan) – EA Final Estimate: -193 bcf

  • We forecast that Thursday’s EIA report will show a 193 bcf withdrawal. Gas-weighted HDDs (GWHDDs) rose by 5% w/w as much of the Eastern US, including Boston, Philadelphia, and New York saw temperatures fall below 10°F on 20–21 January. Even with late week moderation away from such lows, national res-com demand still grew by 3.6 bcf/d w/w. That cold forced freeze-offs in Appalachia, with regional output dropping by 1.2 bcf/d w/w to 29.5 bcf/d. A 0.3 bcf/d w/w increase in LNG sendout was not enough to keep total supply from sliding by 1.1 bcf/d w/w.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 1 Feb) – EA Estimate: -264 bcf

  • The current week is forecast for a 264 bcf withdrawal, which would be in the top 10 of the biggest draws on record. The polar vortex settled over the Midwest on 28 January and is set to cause historic low temperatures in Chicago. Sub-zero temperatures will extend through 1 February, including a high of -11°F on 30 January. The resulting 30% w/w hike in Midwest GWHDDs will lead to national growth of 15% w/w and cause national res-com demand to spike by 8.1 bcf/d w/w.
  • The cold is likely to disrupt Appalachia output later in the week. Low temperatures in western Pennsylvania will drop below 0°F, with highs in the single digits, on 30–31 January. We forecast Appalachia receipts will fall by 0.2–0.3 bcf/d w/w, off an already depressed baseline. However, the extreme temperatures will not reach as far south as the Haynesville or the main Texas basins, which will account for 0.9 bcf/d in w/w growth to help total Lower 48 output rise by 0.8 bcf/d w/w.
  • Flows through TETCO’s Line 25 rose from zero to 1.0 bcf/d d/d on 28 January after partial service to the pipe was restored following a force majeure caused by a 21 January explosion. Full restoration to 1.6 bcf/d is likely to take several months, though TETCO has thus far mitigated its total system disruption to 0.3 bcf/d by rerouting flows to other pipes.
  • We forecast net imports from Canada will grow by 0.7 bcf/d w/w to help boost total supply. The Midwest US will send less gas into Canada through the Vector Pipeline via the St. Clair border point in Michigan. Flows from the Chicago area on Alliance and Northern Border onto Vector dropped to zero on 29 January, down by 0.5 bcf/d d/d, and will not recover during the cold snap.
  • After plunging by 0.7 bcf/d w/w in the reference week, LNG feedgas demand is set to grow by 0.2 bcf/d w/w to 4.1 bcf/d. Cove Point and Sabine Pass are each set to see w/w growth of 0.1 bcf/d, though Corpus Christi has not scheduled any flows this week. The facility is likely undergoing final maintenance before entering commercial service, including a possible screen outage and facility restart—Cove Point went offline for three weeks for such checks before its March 2018 start-up.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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