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US working natural gas volumes in underground storage rise 102 Bcf on week: EIA


Build proves smaller than expected

Henry Hub futures static following report

Denver — US working gas in storage increased by 102 Bcf last week, which was less than the market expected, but Henry Hub futures remained static following the report.

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The amount of natural gas in US underground storage facilities increased 102 Bcf to 2.714 Tcf in the week that ended May 29, according to the US Energy Information Administration's weekly report, released June 4.

The injection was below the consensus expectations of analysts S&P Global Platts surveyed that called for a 111 Bcf build. Responses to the survey ranged from injections of 93 Bcf to 122 Bcf. The injection was 16 Bcf, or 13.6%, below the 118 Bcf build reported in the same week a year ago and 1 Bcf below the five-year average increase of 103 Bcf, according to EIA data.

US supply-and-demand balances were largely flat week on week, with large offsetting changes in residential and commercial and power burn demand leaving only a small change, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Gas-fired power generation demand rose 2.9 Bcf/d on the week, with gains spread across most regions, with the Midwest, East, and South Central regions adding upward of 800 MMcf/d apiece. At the same time, the Midwest and East regions had residential and commercial demand falling by 1.4 Bcf/d and 800 MMcf/d, respectively.

On the US level, declines continued in industrial, LNG feedgas and Mexican exports demand further. Upstream, total supplies held mostly steady, increasing by less than 100 MMcf/d on the week to an average 90.4 Bcf/d.

Storage volumes now stand 762 Bcf, or 39%, above the year-ago level of 1.952 Tcf and 422 Bcf, or 18.4%, above the five-year average of 2.292 Tcf, the data show.

The NYMEX July futures contract remained unchanged at $1.82/MMBtu in trading following the release of the weekly report and was little changed in the following 30 minutes.

Henry Hub NYMEX futures for the balance of summer were trading mostly flat June 4 to the day prior's close of $2.03/MMBtu, and flat to where it was priced a week ago, after some vacillation and a brief dip below $2/MMBtu earlier in the week. Spreads to next winter remain wide, with the July-through-October strip trading nearly 80 cents below the November-through-March window, as the market eyes a bullish 2021 on a tighter market stemming from supply drops from reduced associated gas production.

S&P Global Platts Analytics' supply-and-demand model forecasts a 108 Bcf addition to US storage volumes for the week ending June 5, which would expand the storage overhang to the five-year average by 14 Bcf.

Total demand is up 2.1 Bcf/d over the prior week, with power demand rising another 2.9 Bcf/d from last week, helping to offset a nearly 1 Bcf/d decline in LNG feedgas demand.

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