S&P Global: US natural gas injections totaled 129 Bcf in the week ending Sept. 30, marking the largest injection into US storage facilities in more than seven years, the US Energy Information Administration said Oct. 6.
Gas injections for the week outpaced a consensus forecast for a 114 Bcf injection, according to the S&P Global Commodity Insights weekly survey of gas industry analysts. The 129 Bcf injection marked the largest boost to storage inventories since the week ending May 29, 2015.
The robust injection total also widely exceeded the five-year average for the week of 87 Bcf, as well as the 114 Bcf injection recorded in the same week last year, with storage operators racing to rebuild working gas inventories that have lagged recent historic levels throughout 2022.
Gas stocks in underground storage are now 7.8% below the five-year average, the lowest deficit recorded since late January of this year, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February prompted a sustained increase in US LNG exports.
NATURAL GAS – Week ahead
Looking ahead to the week in progress, S&P Global’s supply and demand model has predicted a 107 Bcf injection for the week ending Oct. 7. This would mark a fourth consecutive week of triple-digit natural gas storage builds and would further narrow the storage deficit to 6.9% below the five-year average.
Recent market fundamentals, including an uptick in dry natural gas production, will likely help sustain robust injections into underground storage in the coming weeks. US gas production has averaged 97 Bcf/d thus far in October, marking a new record-high monthly average, if sustained.
A recent dip in US LNG feedgas demand could also prompt more gas to be routed into underground storage, with US LNG export capacity operating at partial strength for the week ending Oct. 7. Berkshire Hathaway Energy GT&S’ Cove Point liquefaction facility in Maryland began maintenance Oct. 1 that will likely last for around a month, sidelining around 800 MMcf/d in feedgas demand on the Atlantic Coast.
Feedgas deliveries to Cheneire’s Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana have also dipped recently to 3.9 Bcf/d Oct. 6 from 4.9 Bcf/d Oct. 1, potentially reflecting maintenance work on upstream pipelines in the US Gulf Coast region. Ongoing downtime at the Freeport LNG facility in Texas also continues to press on feedgas demand.
Total feedgas demand at US LNG export terminals has averaged 10.8 Bcf/d Oct. 1-6, down from the 12 Bcf/d average recorded for the week ending Sept. 30. ~ Story Credit: Dylan Chase Kelsey Hallahan S&P Global