Denver — US natural gas storage volumes rose by 2 Bcf less than an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts anticipated, but once again much less than the five-year average as the Henry Hub prompt month price has gained 50 cents since the beginning of October.
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Storage inventories increased by 49 Bcf to 3.926 Tcf for the week-ended Oct. 16 the US Energy Information Administration reported Oct. 22.
The injection was less than an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts calling for a 51-Bcf build. The injection measured much less than half the 92-Bcf build reported during the same week last year as well as the five-year average rise of 75 Bcf, according to EIA data.
Total supplies were down 1.5 Bcf/d on the week at an average 88.6 Bcf/d, led by a combined 1 Bcf/d decline in onshore and offshore production, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. Net Canadian imports to the Lower 48 also declined 500 MMcf/d week over week due to maintenances and colder temperatures in West Canada.
Downstream, total US demand fell by 1.7 Bcf/d, with the majority of the decline stemming from weaker residential and commercial demand in the Midwest and Northeast regions. LNG feedgas demand also slipped by 600 MMcf/d.
Storage volumes now stand 345 Bcf, or 9.6%, higher on the year and 327 Bcf, or 9%, more than the five-year average.
The NYMEX Henry Hub November contract remained flat at $3.02/MMBtu in trading following the release of the weekly storage report at 10:30 am ET. It has increased by 50 cents since the beginning of October. The remaining winter strip, December through March, slipped 3.5 cents to $3.35/MMBtu. This is up 30 cents, or around 10%, from where the strip traded at the beginning of October.
Total supplies are up 3.4 Bcf/d on the week to an average 92.1 Bcf/d, led by a 2.5 Bcf/d rise in onshore production, and bolstered by an additional 1.3 Bcf/d increase in offshore production. Total demand is up even higher , jumping by 4.8 Bcf/d to average 87.6 Bcf/d. Residential and commercial demand made a strong recovery in the Midwest and Northeast regions, rising by 4 Bcf/d this week in those two regions alone. However, gas-fired power generation demand has fallen by 2.7 Bcf/d on the week as US-level temperatures have cooled.
The injection season might end earlier than usual as the last week of October is likely to show a single-digit net build, which is well below the five-year average gain of 52 Bcf.