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US gas demand sinks, dry natural gas production steady on week

Natural gas demand in the U.S. fell in the week ended Feb. 14, while supply held generally flat to the prior week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its latest "Natural Gas Weekly Update" released Feb. 15.

Total U.S. consumption of natural gas fell 7% compared with the previous report week, as natural gas consumed for power generation climbed by 2% week over week, while industrial-sector consumption decreased by 2% and residential- and commercial-sector consumption tumbled by 14%.

Natural gas exports to Mexico decreased 1% from the previous week, averaging 4.4 Bcf/d, while U.S. LNG exports decreased 1% week over week to average at 3.2 Bcf/d.

Five LNG vessels carrying a combined 17.2 Bcf of LNG departed the Sabine Pass liquefaction facility from Feb. 7 to Feb. 14. One tanker with an LNG-carrying capacity of 3.8 Bcf was loading at the terminal on Feb. 14.

U.S. supply was generally lower week on week averaging near 84.0 Bcf/d from 84.1 Bcf/d the previous week. Dry natural gas production remained constant week over week averaging 78 Bcf/d, while imports from Canada decreased by 4% from the previous week but were a small contributor to the overall supply, the EIA said.

In regard to inventories, net withdrawals from storage totaled 194 Bcf for the week ending Feb. 9, taking working gas stocks to a total 1,884 Bcf, which is 433 Bcf less than the five-year average and 577 Bcf less than last year at this time. The figure compared with the five-year average net withdrawal of 154 Bcf and last year's net withdrawal of 120 Bcf during the same report week.

If net withdrawals from working gas stocks match the five-year average for the remainder of the withdrawal season, working gas stocks will total 1,269 Bcf by March 31, the end of the titular season. That would be 25% lower than the five-year average and the second lowest end-of-heating-season level reported since 2010, the EIA said.

Working gas stocks ended the 2013–14 heating season at 837 Bcf, which is the lowest reported level during that period.