Opinion

S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 65-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 65-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week that ended October 27, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.

Responses to the survey were wide and ranged for a build of 54 Bcf to 71 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EDT Thursday.

A 65 Bcf injection would be more than the 56 Bcf injection reported at this time in 2016 as well as the five-year average injection of 60 Bcf.

An injection within analysts' expectations of 65 Bcf would expand stocks to 3.775 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It would shift the deficit to the five-year average to 41 Bcf and move the deficit versus the corresponding week in 2016 to 181 Bcf. It would also measure slightly more than the injection reported the week prior.

For the week ended October 20 the EIA reported a 64 Bcf build that elevated inventories to 3.710 Tcf, which was 4.8% less than the year-ago inventory of 3.899 Tcf, and 1.2% less than the five-year average of 3.756 Tcf.

Overall production was up an average 0.7 Bcf/d compared to the previous week, with Southeast production driving most of the gain at 0.4 Bcf/d over the previous week's levels. The middle continent - Midcon Producing region showed the next largest gain in production of around 0.1 Bcf/d.

“The increase in overall production was partially offset by an increase in total U.S. demand of 0.3 Bcf/d, driven by a 0.7 Bcf/d increase in the Midwest region,” said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics, the forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts. “The vast majority of the regional gain was from residential and commercial demand, as population-weighted temperatures in the region averaged 3.4 degrees cooler than the previous week at 55 degrees." 

The Northeast region saw the largest change in implied storage activity, long an estimated 0.5 Bcf/d compared to the previous week, in direct disagreement with sampled storage activity, which showed a decline of over 1.8 Bcf week over week. Although small at 0.1 Bcf, the Columbia Gas Transmission system notably posted their first withdrawal since March.

The weekly analyst survey is conducted by the S&P Global Platts editorial team, and is published every Wednesday, one day ahead of the 10:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday release of the weekly natural gas storage report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. S&P Global Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis. 

In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into five storage regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Mountain and Pacific. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.



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S&PS&P Global PlattsEIAEnergy Information Administration EIAnatural gasNatural Gas Stocks

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