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Final injection of year forecast to add 7 Bcf to US natural gas storage: survey

Highlights

Demand surges on cold temperatures

Withdrawal of 88 Bcf likely for week in progress

Denver — The US Energy Information Administration is expected to report a 7 Bcf injection for the week ended November 8, well below the five-year average as the season prepares to flip to withdrawals, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts.

Responses to the survey ranged from a build of zero to 12 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report on Thursday at 10:30 am EST.

A 7 Bcf injection would be less than the 42 Bcf added in the corresponding week last year, as well as the five-year average of 30 Bcf. An injection within expectations would increase stocks to 3.736 Tcf. In such a scenario, the surplus versus the five-year average would flip to a 7 Bcf deficit and the surplus to last year would contract to 495 Bcf.

After more than a dozen consecutive bearish storage reports relative to the five-year average, the first two storage reports of the official withdrawal season have begun to cut into the surplus built up by the Lower 48 through the fall, according to Platts Analytics. US temperatures fell 5 F week over week, primarily in the dense demand centers in the East and Midwest regions.

The abrupt arrival of winter has lead to an additional 46 Bcf of residential and commercial demand, which was only partially offset by a 19 Bcf fall in power burn. Despite the tightness from the East and Midwest, the South Central region saw slightly warmer temperatures week over week.

As a result, continued declines in power burn demand were partially offset in the South Central region by gains in residential and commercial demand.

An early forecast by Platts Analytics shows a net withdrawal of 88 Bcf for the week ending November 15, which will mark the start of the withdrawal season.

Total US demand surged Tuesday to 122 Bcf/d as residential and commercial demand spiked more than 12 Bcf/d day on day due to a cold snap that has blanketed much of the eastern half of the US.

Average temperatures across the country currently sit roughly 12 degrees below normal, with the Midwest at 25 degrees below normal. The cold start to November has pushed the total US demand, excluding exports, to an average of 84 Bcf/d month to date, a record high for the first 12 days of November.

The cold weather has likely contributed to the lower production mark amid possible freeze-offs. US production sits below 90 Bcf/d, more than 2 Bcf/d below the month-to-date average. Regionally, the Northeast is down 1 Bcf/d, dragged by a 0.6 Bcf/d drop in Ohio's Utica Shale.

-- Brandon Evans, bevans@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Shashwat Pradhan, newsdesk@spglobal.com