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U.S. natgas futures rise ahead of storage report with colder weather coming

Stock MarketsDec 12, 2019 09:14
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© Reuters. U.S. natgas futures rise ahead of storage report with colder weather coming

Dec 12 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures edged up on Thursday ahead of a federal report expected to show a slightly bigger than usual weekly storage build as a decline in production and forecasts confirming a cold snap will blanket much of the country in mid- to late-December.

Analysts said utilities likely pulled 76 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas from storage during the week ended Dec. 6. That compares with a withdrawal of 75 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2014-18) average decline of 68 bcf. EIA/GAS

If correct, the decrease would cut stockpiles to 3.515 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 0.5% below the five-year average of 3.532 tcf for this time of year.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Thursday.

Front-month gas futures NGc1 for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 3.7 cents, or 1.7%, to $2.280 per million British thermal units at 7:40 a.m. EST. On Wednesday, the contract settled about one cent over its close on Dec. 9, which was the lowest settle since Oct. 11.

Analysts said stocks would likely return to a surplus over the five-year average during the next month or so as rising production enables utilities to leave more gas in storage.

Gas production in the Lower 48 states fell to a five-week low of 94.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Wednesday due to declines in several states, down from 94.8 bcfd on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv. That compares with an average of 95.4 bcfd last week and a record high of 96.3 bcfd on Nov. 30.

Meteorologists projected temperatures in the U.S. Lower 48 states will turn from warmer than normal now to colder from Dec. 16-23 before turning warmer again from Dec. 24-27. That is similar to Wednesday's forecasts.

With cooler weather coming, data provider Refinitiv projected demand in the Lower 48 states, including exports, would rise to an average of 127.6 bcfd next week from 117.9 bcfd this week.

That is a little lower than Refinitiv's forecasts on Wednesday of 128.2 bcfd for next week and 117.9 bcfd for this week.

Gas flows to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants slipped to 7.9 bcfd on Wednesday from 8.1 bcfd on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv data. That compares with an average of 7.6 bcfd last week and an all-time high of 8.2 bcfd on Dec. 8 with the ramp up of new liquefaction trains at Freeport LNG's plant in Texas and Cameron LNG's plant in Louisiana. traders said Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) Inc's KMI.N Elba Island LNG export plant in Georgia could send out its first cargo this week. flows to Mexico, meanwhile, rose to 5.8 bcfd on Wednesday from 5.5 bcfd on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv data. That compares with an average of 5.3 bcfd last week and an all-time daily high of 6.2 bcfd on Sept. 18.

Week ended

Week ended Year ago

Five-year

Dec. 6

Dec. 6

average

(Forecast) 29(Actual)

Dec. 6

U.S. natgas storage (bcf):

Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days

Two-Week Total Forecast

Current Day Prior Day Prior Year

10-Year

30-Year Norm

U.S. GFS HDDs

432 U.S. GFS CDDs

3 U.S. GFS TDDs

Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts

Prior Week

Current

Next Week This week

Five-Year

last year

Average For

Month U.S. Supply (bcfd)

U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production

76.4 U.S. Imports from Canada

8.5 U.S. LNG Imports

0.3 Total U.S. Supply

103.5

103.0

103.4

U.S. Demand (bcfd) U.S. Exports to Canada

2.5 U.S. Exports to Mexico

3.6 U.S. LNG Exports

1.6 U.S. Commercial

14.1 U.S. Residential

23.8 U.S. Power Plant

23.4 U.S. Industrial

23.4 U.S. Plant Fuel

4.7 U.S. Pipe Distribution

2.7 U.S. Vehicle Fuel

0.1 Total U.S. Consumption

100.9

110.4

101.0

92.2 Total U.S. Demand

115.2

117.9

127.6

113.8

SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)

Current Day Prior Day

Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL

Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL

PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL

Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL

Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL

Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL

SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL

Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL

SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)

Current Day Prior Day

New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL

40.00

37.00

PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL

33.00

29.50

Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL

22.50

23.00

Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL

37.00

41.00

Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL

27.25

23.25

SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL

40.75

43.50

U.S. natgas futures rise ahead of storage report with colder weather coming
 

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