Lower 48 gas storage

Published at 19:13 15 Oct 2019 by

Thursday’s EIA report (week ended 11 Oct) – EA Final Estimate: +107 bcf

  • We forecast Thursday’s EIA report will show a return to triple-digit injections with a 107 bcf build. The 9 bcf w/w gain in the injection rate was driven by the ongoing seasonal decline in power burn, which fell by 3.9 bcf/d w/w as overall power demand slid by 11% w/w. Rising res-com demand offset some of the power sector losses, as an 80% w/w jump in gas-weighted HDDs pushed heating demand up by 2.2 bcf/d w/w. The cold was particularly acute in the Mountain West region, which saw midweek temperatures in Denver below 20°F (more than 20°F below normal).
  • Total supply did not contribute to the uplift in the injection rate. A force majeure on Columbia Transmission’s WB-5 line cut Appalachia flows by 0.2 bcf/d w/w. Net imports from Canada also fell, by 0.3 bcf/d w/w, on declines in trade at several western border points.

Next Thursday’s report (week ending 18 Oct) – EA Estimate: +93 bcf

  • We project the injection rate will retreat to 96 bcf in the current week as heating demand gains exceed losses in power sector offtake. Gas-weighted HDDs are forecast to double w/w, boosting res-com demand by 3.6 bcf/d w/w. Industrial heating demand is set to grow by an additional 0.3 bcf/d w/w. This will outweigh our forecast for an additional 2.2 bcf/d w/w slide in power burn.
  • A combination of cold weather and ongoing maintenance is disrupting Pacific Northwest flows. Regional low temperatures close to freezing have coincided with scheduled work at the Jackson Prairie storage site that is restricting all activity at the facility until 21 October. Despite Canadian imports through the Sumas border point rising by 0.4 bcf/d y/y—via the repaired T-South pipeline—we forecast a Pacific injection of just 1 bcf this week in part due to the northwest issues.
  • We forecast total Lower 48 production will hit an all-time record of 92.3 bcf/d this week (+0.6 bcf/d w/w). Appalachia receipts are on pace to grow by 0.3 bcf/d w/w on the end of the Columbia force majeure. The remaining w/w uplift will be split between the Permian, Haynesville, and Rockies.
  • Pipeline exports to Mexico are on pace to drop by 0.1 bcf/d w/w, as uplift via new infrastructure continues to grow in fits and starts. The Altamira LNG terminal also unloaded a cargo on 11 October, in line with our projections that it will still take a cargo per month for system balancing.
  • We forecast LNG feedgas demand will rise by 0.7 bcf/d w/w, as Cove Point returned from three weeks of scheduled maintenance on 14 October. However, there is some risk to this estimate as intake at Corpus Christi dropped by 0.4 bcf/d d/d to 0.8 bcf/d on 15 October despite no announced maintenance or issues with pipelines connected to the facility.
Fig 1: Regional flows and fundamentals model, bcf
Source: Energy Aspects
Fig 2: Balance forecasts, bcf/d
Source: Energy Aspects

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