Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:31 21 May 2019 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 17 May) – EA Final Estimate: +104 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA report will show an injection of 104 bcf, down by just 2 bcf w/w. Total demand fell by 0.1 bcf/d w/w, with power demand dropping by 1.1 bcf/d w/w on weak national load limiting incremental gas burn. Power burn’s decline was partially offset by res-com demand growth of 0.6 bcf/d w/w on localised heating demand in the Mountain West and a 0.3 bcf/d w/w boost in LNG feedgas on higher intake from Cameron LNG as it continues commissioning.
  • Production indicators were more static w/w. Lower 48 production edged down by 0.1 bcf/d w/w. Appalachia growth of 0.2 bcf/d w/w was cancelled out by similarly sized Permian declines. San Juan receipts also fell w/w, by 0.1 bcf/d. Canadian net imports likewise slumped by 0.1 bcf/d w/w.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 24 May) – EA Estimate: +110 bcf

  • We forecast that the current week will see a third consecutive triple-digit injection, of 110 bcf. Total demand is on track to fall by 0.9 bcf/d w/w, led by a 2.1 bcf/d w/w drop in res-com demand. National power burn will offset 1.9 bcf/d of that w/w decline as temperatures are forecast to spike late in the week in the Southeast and South Central. Highs above 85°F in Washington, DC in the current week will be 10°F hotter than seasonal norms, pushing regional power demand up w/w.
  • The high temperatures in the South will push the South Central’s net injection down by 4 bcf w/w to 26 bcf, the region’s smallest addition to inventories since early April. The start of the heat pushed the South Central’s hyper-flexible salt inventories to net withdrawals on 19-20 May.
  • We project LNG feedgas will retreat by 0.4 bcf/d w/w to 5.4 bcf/d. Sabine Pass will be exclusively responsible for the decline. Flows to the facility fell from 3.9 bcf/d at the start of the week to just 3.3 bcf/d on 21 May, with no maintenance announced or weather that would be limiting its intake. Sabine also has ample space in its storage tanks to take new gas. The start of flows to Freeport LNG on 15 May will help balance some of Sabine’s decline. Flows to the terminal began on 15 May and are on track to average just under 0.1 bcf/d in the current week.
  • Lower 48 production is on pace to plunge by 0.5 bcf/d w/w. A 19–20 May operational event at Markwest’s Salem processing plant in West Virginia limited flows on the Columbia Gas system by 2.1 bcf/d and depressed regional output by 3.0 bcf/d d/d on 19 May. While the issues were fixed on 20 May, the loss of capacity will see Appalachia output decline by 0.7 bcf/d w/w.
  • Permian output is on pace to drop by 0.2 bcf/d w/w. A four-day maintenance event on EPNG’s Dutch F compressor in Arizona will limit up to 0.4 bcf/d in Permian flows west starting on 21 May.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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