The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 45-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week ended July 27, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.
Responses to the survey ranged for a build of 39 Bcf to 58 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
A 45 Bcf injection would be much more than the 18 Bcf build in the corresponding week last year but in line with the five-year average build of 43 Bcf. Platts Analytics' storage model predicts an injection of 46 Bcf while the supply and demand model calls for a 42 Bcf build.
An injection within analysts' expectations of 45 Bcf would increase stocks to 2.318 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would decrease slightly to 555 Bcf while the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would contract to 678 Bcf.
The EIA reported a 24 Bcf injection for the week ended July 20. It expanded inventories to 2.273 Tcf, which was 24% less than the year-ago inventory of 2.978 Tcf, and 20% less than the five-year average of 2.830 Tcf.
"Cooler weather undid a lot of the tightness due to gas-fired power demand seen last week, with additional lift from Southeast offshore and Northeast production," said Kent Berthoud, a storage analyst with S&P Global Platts. "The most up to date EIA data, along with the current supply and demand forecasts, would have the US adding a meager 184 Bcf to inventories during the month of July."
The deficit to the five-year average has expanded by about 20 Bcf since the injection season started 14 weeks ago. There are 14 to 15 weeks left before the flip to withdrawals begin as Platts Analytics now expects the heating season to start with a record-low 3.3 Tcf in storage.
The weekly analyst survey is conducted by S&P Global Platts' editorial team, and is published every Wednesday, one day ahead of the 10:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday release of the weekly natural gas storage report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.
**In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into five storage regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Mountain and Pacific. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.
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