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US gas demand increases as electric power sector consumption rises

Natural gas demand in the U.S. climbed by 4% in the week ended May 16 as supply held steady, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its latest "Natural Gas Weekly Update" released May 17.

Residential and commercial gas use climbed 3% compared with the previous report. Natural gas consumption for power generation increased by 8% compared with the previous week due to the higher temperatures in parts of Texas and the Southeast. Industrial-sector consumption held steady week over week, averaging 19.9 Bcf/d.

Natural gas exports to Mexico averaged 4.4 Bcf/d during the review period, the same average as the previous week, while LNG export pipeline receipts increased to 3.5 Bcf/d from 3.3 Bcf/d, the EIA said.

Seven LNG vessels, with a combined carrying capacity of 25.8 Bcf, left the United States from May 10 to May 16. Six tankers left from Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass, while one tanker left from Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point. Israel is also set to receive the country's first LNG shipment from the U.S., being carried on LNG tanker British Diamond, on May 27, the EIA reported citing shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. natural gas supply averaged 85.6 Bcf/d. Average net imports from Canada increased about 100 MMcf/d from the previous week, averaging 6.1 Bcf/d from May 10 to May 16.

Net injections for the week ending May 16 broke the 100 Bcf threshold, after totaling 106 Bcf. Working gas stocks totaled 1,538 Bcf, about 501 Bcf below the five-year average and 821 Bcf below the same period in 2017.