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US gas demand elevated amid cold weather at start of December

Natural gas demand in the United States rose amid colder weather during the week ended Dec. 7, while supply declined on the back of diminished production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its latest "Natural Gas Weekly Update" released Dec. 8. Overall U.S. natural gas consumption grew by 15% week over week, from 69.0 Bcf/d to 79.6 Bcf/d, as cold weather descended.

Relative to the week-ago level, power burn notched a 10% gain as it climbed from 21.1 Bcf/d to 23.2 Bcf/d, while industrial-sector demand logged a 4% uptick as it expanded from 21.6 Bcf/d to 22.4 Bcf/d and residential/commercial-sector consumption posted a 29% increase as it jumped from 26.3 Bcf/d to 34.1 Bcf/d. Exports to Mexico were flat week over week at an average at 3.7 Bcf/d.

Natural gas pipeline flows to the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal during the week in review averaged 1.5 Bcf/d, or 11% higher than in the week prior. Four vessels with a combined LNG-carrying capacity of 14.3 Bcf left the terminal in the previous week, the EIA said.

Total U.S. natural gas supply was down 1% versus the prior-week figure, from 77.5 Bcf/d to 77.1 Bcf/d. Dry production slumped 1% week on week, from 72.5 Bcf/d to 71.8 Bcf/d, while net imports from Canada notched a 6% increase over the same period as it rose from 4.8 Bcf/d to 5.1 Bcf/d.

The latest storage data from the EIA outlined a net 42-Bcf withdrawal from stocks for the week to Dec. 2 that was below both the 61-Bcf five-year average drawdown and the 69-Bcf pull seen in the corresponding week in 2015. It took total inventories to 3,953 Bcf, or 51 Bcf above the year-ago level and 254 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,699 Bcf.