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Total US weekly gas use dips with lower commercial, residential consumption

Weekly U.S. natural gas consumption declined in the week that ended March 13 following a temperature-driven increase the previous week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its March 14 "Natural Gas Weekly Update."

Total gas use fell by 19% during the report week, landing at an average of 97.5 Bcf/d, dropping from 116.9 Bcf/d the previous week, the EIA reported. The decrease was mostly driven by lower gas use by residential and commercial customers. Their combined gas use dropped by 26% in the week to an average of 36.4 Bcf/d compared to an average of 49.4 Bcf/d last week.

Gas use for power generation also saw a decline for the week. It hit an average of 22.4 Bcf/d, a 15% decrease over last week's 26.4 Bcf/d. Industrial gas consumption saw a smaller decrease, falling to an average of 22.3 Bcf/d from the previous week's 24.2 Bcf/d.

Nine LNG vessels with a combined carrying capacity of 39.4 Bcf left the U.S. between March 7 and March 13, according to the EIA, which cited shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. Seven of these tankers left from export terminals owned by Cheniere Energy Inc., with five of the tankers leaving from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana and two from the Corpus Christi terminal in Texas. The two remaining tankers departed from Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point terminal in Maryland.

Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal recently secured approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to start commercial service on the facility's fifth gas liquefaction train. Like Sabine Pass' other four trains, the fifth train has the capacity to produce 4.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or about 0.7 Bcf/d of gas. Cheniere said substantial completion on the fifth train was achieved March 7 and that a subsidiary received control of the facility from a unit of engineering and construction firm Bechtel Corp.

Total U.S. natural gas supply stayed almost flat, averaging 93.4 Bcf/d from March 7 to March 13, compared to last week's 93.9 Bcf/d. Average net imports from Canada decreased during the report week, coming in at an average 4.9 Bcf/d, compared to the past week's 5.5 Bcf/d.

Net storage withdrawals for the week that ended March 8 totaled 204 Bcf, lower than 88 Bcf in the same week in 2018. Working gas stocks totaled 1,186 Bcf, which was about 569 Bcf below the five-year average and 359 Bcf below the level at the same time last year.