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Weekly US gas use declines with dip in residential, commercial consumption

Total U.S. natural gas use for the week that ended Dec. 19 fell 16%, driven by the decline in residential and commercial usage, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its Dec. 20 "Natural Gas Weekly Update."

Total U.S. gas consumption continued to drop in the report week, averaging 80.3 Bcf/d compared to the 95.0 Bcf/d average in the previous week, the EIA reported. Residential and commercial gas consumption took the largest dip, declining by 25% week over week.

Residential and commercial use averaged 34.3 Bcf/d compared to the previous week's 45.5 Bcf/d average. Gas use for power generation for the report week also took a hit, posting an average of 22.3 Bcf/d compared to the 25.0 Bcf/d average during the previous week. Industrial gas consumption decreased slightly in the week, averaging 23.6 Bcf/d compared to the 24.5 average of the previous week.

Seven LNG vessels with a combined carrying capacity of 24.7 Bcf left the U.S. from Dec. 13 to Dec. 19, with six vessels leaving from Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. One left from Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point terminal in Maryland. Pipeline deliveries to LNG export terminals for the week decreased by about 400 MMcf/d over the previous week after averaging 4.2 Bcf/d, according to the EIA.

Cheniere recently signed a 20-year agreement to supply a Petroliam Nasional Bhd. unit with LNG, a deal which could push a final investment decision on the sixth liquefaction train at the company's Sabine Pass export terminal.

U.S. gas supply averages saw a decrease of about 600 MMcf/d for the week, posting an average of 92.0 Bcf/d from Dec. 13 to Dec. 19. Average net imports from Canada also saw a decrease during the report week, averaging 4.6 Bcf/d, compared to the previous week's 4.8 Bcf/d.

Net storage withdrawals for the week ended Dec. 14 totaled 141 Bcf, which was less than the 166 Bcf of net withdrawals in the same week in 2017. Working gas stocks totaled 2,773 Bcf, which was about 720 Bcf below the five-year average and 697 Bcf below the level for the same period in the previous year.