WASHINGTON (May 30, 2018) – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 103-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week ended May 25, 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 tight and ranged for a build of 99 Bcf to 111 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report on Thursday morning.
A 103 Bcf injection would be more than the 80 Bcf build in the corresponding week last year but nearly in line with the five-year average build of 97 Bcf. It would do little to diminish the massive storage deficit created by withdrawals extending deep into April.
An injection within analysts' expectations of 103 Bcf would increase stocks to 1.732 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would shrink slightly to 493 Bcf and the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would contract to 781 Bcf.
The EIA reported a 91 Bcf injection for the week ended May 18. It increased inventories to 1.629 Tcf, which was 33% less than the year-ago inventory of 2.433 Tcf, and 23.4% less than the five-year average of 2.128 Tcf.
"After being hampered by maintenance events last week Northeast production bounced back while gas-fired power generation and residential and commercial demand dipped, pointing to about a 10 Bcf larger build week over week," said Kent Berthoud, a storage analyst with S&P Global Platts. "The most recent forecast expects May to add 412 Bcf to US inventories, only 4 Bcf above the five-year average. A second triple-digit injection puts us on track to meet and likely exceed that target by as much as 20 or 30 Bcf, providing some breathing room after this year's extended withdrawal season has stoked concerns regarding a record low carry-out."
The higher build is coming from more injection activity in the East and Midwest storage regions due to lower demand. Production saw small gains in almost all regions, but more than half of the 0.7 Bcf/d uptick came from Appalachian gas fields as producers resumed regular operations after some maintenance events the week prior.
An early forecast for the week ending June 1 is calling for a build of 94 Bcf, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, which is 10 Bcf less than the five-year average.
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.
**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.