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Gas Factbox: Production Rises, Demand Remains Down

Houston (Platts)--30 Aug 2017 13:29 pm EDT/19:29 GMT

Harvey isn't finished ravaging the US Gulf Coast Wednesday as the tropical storm enters Louisiana after dumping historic amounts of rain on the coastal region of Texas and delivering a 1,000-year flood to the nation's energy capital, Houston. At 10:00 am CDT Wednesday, the center of Tropical Storm Harvey was moving farther inland over southwestern Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service. "Harvey is moving toward the north-northeast near 8 mph (13 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through Thursday," the weather service said, adding "a turn toward the northeast is expected Thursday night and Friday." The forecast calls for Harvey to move through southwestern and central Louisiana Wednesday, then pass through northeastern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi Thursday and Thursday night. Harvey had sustained winds near 45 mph Wednesday morning; weakening is expected over the next 48 hours.

Hurricane+Harvey+Storm+Track

Production

Offshore Gulf natural gas production was on the upswing Wednesday, rising to 2.7 Bcf/d from 2.6 Bcf/d Tuesday and a low of 2.4 Bcf/d Saturday. Offshore Gulf production remains down about 0.8 Bcf/d from the month-to-date average prior to the storm. Total US production is back up to 72.4 Bcf/d from a low of 71.95 Bcf/d Saturday, but remains about 0.6 Bcf/d below the month-to-date average prior to the storm, with most of that decline in the Southeast offshore portion of the Gulf.

Eagle Ford shale gas production in South Texas has recovered as well. The Platts Analytics' interstate pipeline sample of Eagle Ford output over the 14 days prior to the storm averaged 1.4 Bcf/d. During the storm, it dropped 1 Bcf/d to 0.4 Bcf/d, but the sample has rebounded to 0.9 Bcf/d Wednesday. Marathon Oil and EOG Resources both reported Tuesday that they had restarted operations in the Eagle Ford.

Demand

US gas exports to Mexico remain about 0.9 Bcf/d, or 20%, below the month-to-date average prior to the storm. Exports on Wednesday averaged 3.5 Bcf/d compared with a month-to-date average of 4.3 Bcf/d and a maximum of 4.5 Bcf/d August 2, according to Platts Analytics' data. Exports to Mexico hit a summer low of 2.9 Bcf/d Saturday, when Harvey disrupted supply availability and pipeline transportation in South Texas.

US gas demand is down 3 Bcf/d from the month-to-date average prior to the storm and is down 4.5 Bcf/d from August 2016 levels. Gas demand from power generation is down about 3.8 Bcf/d from the month-to-date average prior to the storm to about 30.6 Bcf/d Wednesday. Power burn in Texas alone is 2.4 Bcf/d, or 41%, below the month-to-date average. Southeast region power burn is 1.4 Bcf/d, or 13%, below the month-to-date average prior to the storm.

Storage

Tres Palacios Gas Storage is still under force majeure and remains shut. The company issued a notice Wednesday stating that flood waters had started to recede and personnel have gained limited access to the facility.

"Inspection of all plant and meter station equipment is underway," the company said, adding "depending on road and location access, these inspections are expected to take 24-48 hours. At this time, the earliest expected return to service is some time during the day Friday ... pending outcome of the facility and meter site inspections. During the shut down we are unable to inject, withdraw, or wheel any gas service. Until further notice, no activity of any type will be scheduled until operation is restored."

Midstream

Tennessee Gas Pipeline lifted the force majeure at Station 1, but is maintaining a force majeure at Station 9 until further notice. The pipeline lifted an operational flow order for Zones 4, 5 and 6, but still has an OFO in place for all areas south of Station 25 in Zone 0 and for Zone 2 and 3 for overtakes and underdeliveries.

Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America still has force majeure in place on its Louisiana Line. Compressor Station 302, located in Montgomery County, Texas (Segment 25 of Natural's TexOk Zone), Compressor Station 342, located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana (Segment 23 of Natural's Louisiana Zone) and Compressor Station 343, located in Liberty County, Texas (Segment 25 of Natural's TEXOK Zone) continue to be unavailable until the force majeure event has been lifted.

All stations are in free-flow mode. During the force majeure, the scheduling constraint is at Compressor Station 302. Receipts upstream (north or south) of Compressor Station 302 for delivery east of Compressor Station 302 are affected. Receipts east of Compressor Station 302 are not affected if pathed to a location that can flow.

Kinder Morgan reported that communication with certain gas chromatographs in the field have been interrupted affecting Natural, Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Southern Natural Gas.

DCP Midstream said late Tuesday that there had been no changes since Tuesday in volumes shut in on its system. Operationally, 600 MMcf/d of south-central Texas capacity remains shut in. All of DCP's other facilities, including the Sand Hills, Southern Hills and other NGL pipelines connecting to the Gulf Coast are operating. "We are continuously monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey and are preparing for additional flooding over the next several days," the company said in a statement.

Gulf South Pipeline issued a notice stating that the Enterprise Burns Point gas processing plant in Louisiana has shut because of weather conditions. The plant has a processing capacity of 160 MMcf/d.

Gulf South said the shutdown will lead to the shut in of various receipt points, including Point Chevreuil, E.I. Block 32 platform, Belle Isle and Rabbit Island Production.

LNG

Cheniere Energy continued liquefaction operations at its Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Cameron Parish, as it has since the storm first came ashore in Texas. It continued to await word from port officials about any instructions on how to proceed. Spokesman Eben Burnham Snyder said the company would respond accordingly to safely schedule deliveries.

Utilities

Houston area gas utilities were not reporting any service disruptions as of Wednesday morning, according to the American Gas Association. There has been no need to turn off gas supply to any area of the distribution system, AGA said.

Utility damage assessments have yet to be completed, but utility resources have been adequate without the need to rely on mutual-assistance programs, AGA said.

Mexico

Mexico's Control Centre for Natural Gas issued a critical alert for its National Integrated Natural Gas Network because of Harvey's impact.

The control center, CENAGAS, requested that end-users decrease their consumption to protect the integrity of the system, which is known as SISTRANGAS. Users were asked to drop their use between 20% and 70%, said the Chamber for the Industrial Transformation of Nuevo Leon in a statement Tuesday.

The alert affects all large end-users, including state oil company Pemex, state electricity utility CFE and independent power generators, a spokeswoman told S&P Global Platts.

CENAGAS said the storm affected the NET Mexico pipeline and, consequently, flows of gas to the Ramones Phase I pipeline. It also said it saw a decline in injections into the Kinder Morgan Border and Tennessee Gas pipelines. Regions that Harvey affected supply about 60% of the gas Mexico consumes, according to the chamber.