Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 20:13 12 Feb 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 8 Feb) – EA Final Estimate: -81 bcf

  • We forecast this week’s EIA report will show the withdrawal rate dropped by nearly two-thirds w/w, to 81 bcf. Gas-weighted HDDs (GWHDDs) fell by 30% w/w as the late January cold snap moderated, which reduced res-com gas demand by 17.2 bcf/d w/w. LNG feedgas demand declined by 1.4 bcf/d w/w, as fog hampered ship loadings at Sabine Pass throughout the week.
  • All three main supply sources lost ground w/w, causing a 2.6 bcf/d w/w reduction in total supply. LNG sendout ebbed by 0.3 bcf/d w/w. Total Lower 48 production ticked down by 0.2 bcf/d w/w to 84.6 bcf/d, as Gulf of Mexico receipts were dampened by 0.3 bcf/d w/w due to a force majeure on the Destin Pipeline off the coast of Mississippi between 1-10 February. Net imports from Canada were the biggest supply loser, crashing by 1.9 bcf/d w/w on the moderate weather.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 15 Feb) – EA Estimate: -182 bcf

  • Next week’s EIA report will bounce back to show triple digits. We forecast 182 bcf will be removed from storage. GWHDDs are projected to grow by 20% w/w due to a cold snap blanketing the West. Low temperatures were 10°F below historical norms in Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle between 8-10 February. National res-com demand will rise by 8.0 bcf/d on the western cold.
  • SoCalGas demand is on track to hit a three-year weekly high of 3.5 bcf/d, up by 0.2 bcf/d w/w and 0.7 bcf/d above January’s average, as the cold reaches the Pacific. The utility activated its emergency Aliso Canyon storage withdrawal protocol on 10 February to deal with the surge. That pull factors into our forecast for a 17 bcf Pacific withdrawal, the region’s highest this winter.
  • Gas burn is on pace to increase by 4.3 bcf/d w/w to 29.0 bcf/d amid an increase in nationwide power demand driven primarily by the severe winter weather along the gas-intensive West Coast. Local gas prices below $2.75/mmbtu have also kept gas-fired generation in the East economic.
  • We forecast total Lower 48 output will slide by another 0.2 bcf/d w/w. While Gulf receipts will recover by 0.2 bcf/d w/w with the Destin Pipeline back in service, small declines of 0.1 bcf/d w/w each from the Permian, South Texas, Bakken and Piceance basins will see total production drop.
  • LNG feedgas flows will rebound by 1.5 bcf/d w/w. The fog that disrupted ship traffic at Sabine Pass lifted enough for two tankers to dock at the facility on 10 February, with two more set to arrive on 12 February. Sabine’s intake is on pace to rise by 1.4 bcf/d w/w. The remaining 0.1 bcf/d in w/w feedgas uplift will come from Corpus Christi. Flows to the terminal resumed on 7 February after a three-week outage, likely so the train could complete final commissioning activities.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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