WASHINGTON (January 17, 2018) – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 189-billion cubic feet (Bcf) withdrawal for the week that ended January 12, 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 ranged for a withdrawal of 166 Bcf to 208 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage at 10:30 am EDT on Thursday.
A 189 Bcf draw would be less than the 230 Bcf withdrawal reported at this time in 2016 and also less than the five-year average pull of 203 Bcf.
A withdrawal within analysts' expectations of 189 Bcf would deplete stocks to 2.578 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would decrease slightly to 368 Bcf and the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would be 373 Bcf.
The expected withdrawal lacks the excitement of last week when the EIA reported a record-setting pull of 359 Bcf for the week ended January 5. It dropped inventories to 2.767 Tcf, which was 13% less than the year-ago inventory of 3.182 Tcf, and 12% less than the five-year average of 3.149 Tcf.
“Contrary to last week's record-breaking withdrawal, the supply and demand fundamentals and sample withdrawal data point to a bearish week compared to previous years,” said Mitch DeRubis, quantitative modeling analyst, S&P Global Platts. “For the current storage week, as temperatures stepped up, sample activity in all regions predictably stepped down from the previous week's record-high withdrawals.”
Average population-weighted temperatures increased by double digits in every region other than the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, dampening the very large demand gains that had been made the week prior.
Demand in the Upper Midwest declined the most on a week-over-week basis at nearly 9 Bcf/d. The Northeast, Texas and the Mid-Continent Producing regions saw smaller drops of 5.3, 3.0, and 2.9 Bcf/d, respectively. The largest sample decline came from the South Central Region, with smaller but also significant declines in sample withdrawals spread across the Midwest, East and Pacific.
S&P Global Platts Analytics expects a 59-Bcf-drawdown for the South Central region one week after the EIA reported a whopping withdrawal of 153 Bcf for the region.
The weekly analyst survey is conducted by 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. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.
Note: 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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