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US EIA to estimate natural gas storage injection of 2 Bcf: survey

Denver — The US Energy Information Administration will estimate a 2-Bcf injection to natural gas in underground storage for the reporting week ended November 18, according to a consensus of analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.

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Analysts' estimates in the survey ranged from a withdrawal of 2 Bcf to an injection of 6 Bcf.

The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 12:00 pm EST (1730 GMT) Wednesday, one day earlier than normal due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

A 2-Bcf build would be less than the 10-Bcf addition reported at this time in 2015 but more than the 27-Bcf five-year average withdrawal, according to EIA data.

An injection within analysts' expectations of 2 Bcf would grow stocks to 4.049 Tcf, setting an even larger record peak. It would leave stocks 245 Bcf above the five-year average upon entering the heating/withdrawal season. The expected injection is forecast to be less than last week's announcement, when the EIA reported a 30-Bcf build that increased inventories to 4.047 Tcf, which was 1.3% more than the year-ago inventory of 3.996 Tcf, and 5.6% more than the five-year average of 3.831 Tcf.

The EIA's East storage region will likely post its second withdrawal of the season, while levels in the Midwest and Pacific regions should remain relatively flat, according to sample data from Platts Analytics' Bentek Energy.

"Sample withdrawal activity in the East region totaled 3.1 Bcf higher than the previous week's total, when the EIA reported a 2-Bcf withdrawal for the region," said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics. "In the Midwest, sample activity totaled a net withdrawal of 1.7 Bcf, down 1.6 Bcf from the previous week as temperatures in the region fell by an average 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The Natural Gas Pipeline system posted the largest week-over-week change, withdrawing nearly 0.9 Bcf more than the previous week, while the ANR Pipeline system was the only member of the sample to post a stronger injection week over week."

Injection activity in the South Central region is expected to fall by half after adding 20 Bcf in the week prior. The bulk of the drop likely occurred in the salt dome facilities.

--Brandon Evans,
--Edited by Annie Siebert,