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20-Bcf draw from US gas storage falls well short of expectations

Lower 48 natural gas storage operators drew a net 20 Bcf from inventories during the week ended Dec. 28, 2018, compared to a five-year-average pull of 107 Bcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The withdrawal, well below the 42-Bcf draw projected by an S&P Global Platts survey, brought total working gas supply in the Lower 48 to 2,705 Bcf, or 450 Bcf below the year-ago level and 560 Bcf below the five-year average.

By region:

* In the East, stockpiles were down 15 Bcf on the week at 661 Bcf, 11% below a year ago.

* In the Midwest, stockpiles fell 20 Bcf at 798 Bcf, 10% below the year before.

* In the Mountain region, storage levels dropped 3 Bcf at 147 Bcf, down 21% from a year earlier.

* In the Pacific region, storage levels declined 3 Bcf at 220 Bcf, down 19% from the year before.

* In the South Central region, stockpiles grew 20 Bcf at 878 Bcf, 18% below a year ago.

Of that total, 296 Bcf was in salt cavern facilities and 582 Bcf was in non-salt-cavern facilities. Working gas stocks rose 8% in salt cavern facilities from the previous week and dropped 0.3% in non-salt-cavern facilities.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.