Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:30 6 Aug 2019 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 2 Aug) – EA Final Estimate: +62 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA report will show an injection of 62 bcf, down by 3 bcf w/w. Production grew by 1.4 bcf/d w/w as Lower 48 output hit an all-time high of 89.6 bcf/d. Gulf receipts rebounded by 0.7 bcf/d w/w to their pre-storm baseline of 2.9 bcf/d. Receipts in Appalachia and Haynesville were also up, by 0.3 bcf/d w/w each. Demand likewise moved up, by 1.5 bcf/d w/w, to keep the injection rate relatively stable. Power burn rose by 1.1 bcf/d w/w despite flat national population-weighted CDDs. Henry Hub cash prices below $2.25/mmbtu drove more gas-fired generation, while heat in California meant the state hit its highest thermal burn since August 2018.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 9 Aug) – EA Estimate: +69 bcf

  • We forecast that the current week will see 69 bcf sent into storage. Total demand is on pace to fall by 0.8 bcf/d w/w to account for the rising injection rate, due in large part to a 1.4 bcf/d w/w decline in LNG feedgas. Flows to Sabine Pass are set to average just 2.4 bcf/d, down by 1.3 bcf/d w/w. Cheniere confirmed that the cause of the decline is maintenance at Trains 3 and 4 at the facility, which we expect will last for three weeks.
  • Flows to several other US LNG liquefaction terminals are set for an unsteady week as well. Cheniere’s other operating facility, Corpus Christi, saw its intake drop by 0.5 bcf/d w/w to 0.8 bcf/d on 3 August, and flows have remained depressed since. That drop is being partially offset by the resumption of 0.25 bcf/d of feedgas to Cameron LNG after the terminal received FERC approval for commercial operations in late July. Flows to Freeport LNG will also edge up, by 0.1 bcf/d w/w, as the LNG tanker Oak Spirit is en route to load the terminal’s first cargo sometime next week.
  • We project national power burn will grow by 0.5 bcf/d w/w to 40.2 bcf/d despite forecasts for a second consecutive week of flat population-weighted CDDs. PJM gas generation hit an all-time daily high of 51 GW on 5 August. This was likely due to switching hitting the western part of the grid, where coal plant dispatch costs are cheaper.
  • Total production growth is on pace to decelerate in the current week, to growth of 0.2 bcf/d w/w. The explosion on 1 August on Texas Eastern has stymied Appalachia takeaway. While some regional flows are being rerouted to other pipes—including Columbia Gas, Transco, and REX—the incident will limit TETCO flows south until the Danville compressor reopens on 12 August.
  • We forecast a 0.2 bcf/d w/w drop in net Canadian imports will offset the growth in production, as US exports north via the St. Clair border point are on pace to increase by the same amount w/w.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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