Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:04 23 Apr 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 19 Apr) – EA Final Estimate: +94 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA storage report will reveal a 94 bcf injection to inventories. Lower 48 production grew by 0.5 bcf/d w/w to 85.8 bcf/d, with gains concentrated in Appalachia and Haynesville, which each saw a w/w uplift of 0.2 bcf/d. Total demand was nearly static, edging up by just 0.2 bcf/d w/w, even if its components were not. Power burn fell by 0.9 bcf/d w/w, while maintenance to the Agua Dulce compressor station cut flows onto NET Mexico, which reduced total Mexican exports by 0.3 bcf/d w/w. This was more than accounted for by a 1.5 bcf/d w/w jump in LNG feedgas demand, as Sabine Pass Trains 1 and 2 returned from maintenance outages.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 26 Apr) – EA Estimate: +121 bcf

  • We forecast a 121 bcf injection for the current week as the shoulder season rachets up a notch. Total demand is on pace to decline by 3.6 bcf/d w/w, led by a 2.9 bcf/d w/w slump in res-com heating demand as gas-weighted HDDs are forecast to decrease by 25% w/w. Gas use in the industrial sector is on track to shrink by 0.2 bcf/d w/w due to lower heating demand, while power burn will also moderate w/w, by 0.3 bcf/d.
  • Exports to Mexico are on pace to slide by a further 0.2 bcf/d w/w as the NET Mexico work has continued into the current week. Restrictions of 1.3 bcf/d on 19-20 April were followed by a 0.4 bcf/d limitation on 21 April. While flows south have returned to their pre-maintenance baseline of 5.0 bcf/d since the work ended, the early week disruptions were large enough to drag the week’s average down.
  • We forecast LNG feedgas demand will grow by 0.2 bcf/d w/w. Sabine Pass deliveries hit all-time highs above 4.0 bcf/d on 20-21 April as all five trains ran above their nameplate capacity. The w/w feedgas gains would likely be higher if it were not for maintenance at the Sinton compressor station suppressing flows to Corpus Christi on 23-24 April. Corpus Christi’s intake fell by 0.7 bcf/d d/d to 0.1 bcf/d on 23 April as a result.
  • Production gains will also add to the higher injection rate, with total Lower 48 output set to increase by 0.5 bcf/d w/w. The growth will be geographically diverse, with Appalachia, Permian, Gulf of Mexico, Arkla, and Bakken receipts each up by 0.1 bcf/d w/w.
  • We project net imports from Canada will fall by 0.3 bcf/d w/w. Westcoast maintenance will be the culprit, as repairs the T-South pipeline cut its capacity from 1.4 bcf/d to 1.0 bcf/d from 22-26 April. Flows through the connected Sumas border point fell by 0.4 bcf/d d/d on 23 April, and will remain depressed throughout the maintenance event.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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