Natural gas storage inventories increased 119 Bcf for the week ending May 31, according to the EIA’s weekly report. This injection is significantly above the market expectation, which was an inventory increase of 110 Bcf.
Working gas storage inventories now sit at 1.986 Tcf, which is 182 Bcf above inventories at the same time last year and 240 Bcf below the five-year average.
At the time of writing, the July 2019 contract was trading at $2.332/MMBtu, dropping $0.046 from yesterday’s close on the bearish inventory report.
For the first time since 2014, EIA has reported triple-digit injections for natural gas for four consecutive weeks. The record for most consecutive triple-digit injections is held by the year 2014, which saw seven consecutive weeks with a 100+ Bcf injection. The ICE Financial Weekly Index report is currently expecting injections in the coming two weeks to be right around the 100 Bcf mark, which would put 2019 at six consecutive weeks of triple-digit injections should that expectation come to fruition.
The injections of 2019 are mainly being driven by the increased production, coupled with average to below-average demand to start the summer season. During summer 2019, Drillinginfo expects dry gas production to average ~17.5 Bcf/d more than summer 2014, which significantly helps injection capabilities. However, some of this excess production has been offset by increased demand, particularly in LNG exports.
See the chart below for projections of the end-of-season storage inventories as of November 1, the end of the injection season.
This Week in Fundamentals
The summary below is based on Bloomberg’s flow data and DI analysis for the week ending June 6, 2019.
- Dry gas production decreased 0.63 Bcf/d. This drop mainly came from the East region, which fell 0.39 Bcf/d on the week, with nearly all of the decline in the region coming from Pennsylvania (-0.36 Bcf/d).
- Canadian net imports increased on the week, gaining 0.23 Bcf/d.
- Domestic natural gas demand increased 1.58 Bcf/d week over week. We continue to see the season change as power demand increased 2.30 Bcf/d and res/com demand decreased 0.78 Bcf/d. Industrial demand increased slightly on the week, gaining 0.06 Bcf/d.
- LNG exports decreased 0.49 Bcf/d week over week, while Mexican exports increased 0.13 Bcf/d.
Total supply is down 0.39 Bcf/d, while total demand increased 1.21 Bcf/d week over week. With the increase in demand and the decrease in supply, expect the EIA to report a weaker injection next week. The ICE Financial Weekly Index report is currently expecting an injection of 100 Bcf. Last year, the same week saw an injection of 96 Bcf; the five-year average is an injection of 88 Bcf.
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