Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:19 24 Sep 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 20 Sep) – EA Final Estimate: +90 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA report will show an inventory build of 90 bcf. The main factor pushing the injection rate up by 6 bcf w/w was a 1.5 bcf/d w/w drop in power burn. National population-weighted CDDs fell by over 5% w/w, causing a 3% w/w drop in total US power demand. The fall in gas burn was exacerbated by Henry Hub prices at $2.65/mmbtu, allowing coal to retake market share lost earlier this summer. LNG feedgas demand grew by 0.5 bcf/d w/w to offset some power sector losses, as Sabine Pass train 5 returned from two weeks of maintenance on 12 September.
  • Lower 48 production edged down by 0.4 bcf/d w/w, as Appalachia receipts dropped by 0.3 bcf/d w/w. Ongoing TETCO maintenance on the Penn-Jersey Line was the cause of the regional decline.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 27 Sep) – EA Estimate: +104 bcf

  • The start of fall will also mark the start of the shoulder season, as we forecast the current week will be the first in a series of triple-digit builds. A further 1.8 bcf/d w/w projected decline in power burn will underpin the 14 bcf w/w growth in the injection rate.
  • Southern California is one of the few areas of the country forecast to see above-normal temperatures in the current week. A heat advisory is in effect on 24 September as temperatures in Los Angeles soar above 90°F, more than 10°F higher than the historical average. Despite the heat, the Pacific region is still on track for an 8 bcf injection, equalling its highest since late June. SoCalGas will contribute 1 bcf to the region’s build this week, as the California Public Utilities Commission directed the utility to prioritise injections ahead of a winter in which pipeline capacity to Southern California will be severely hampered by maintenance to Lines 235 and 4000.
  • We forecast total Lower 48 production will grow by 0.2 bcf/d w/w to add to the total injection. The Rockies are on track for output gains of 0.3 bcf/d w/w, as the basin recovers from a mid-September outage at Colorado Interstate’s 0.5 bcf/d Lancaster meter station. Elsewhere, Haynesville and Appalachia receipts are each projected to rise by 0.1 bcf/d w/w.
  • Gulf of Mexico receipts are on pace to drop by 0.3 bcf/d w/w, limiting the growth from Lower 48 production. Maintenance on the SS207 platform resulted in a full shut-in of the Nautilus pipeline starting on 19 September, which Enbridge now projects will finish on 26 September. Nautilus averaged just over 0.3 bcf/d in receipts in September before the outage.
  • We project LNG feedgas demand will slump by 0.5 bcf/d w/w. Cove Point LNG went offline on 20 September, marking the start of a scheduled three-week maintenance period for the terminal.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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