Total consumption across the report week showed an increase, driven by power generation. According to BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek) estimates, consumption in the industrial and residential/commercial sectors fell by 1.6 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, but was more than offset by a jump in consumption for power generation, which increased by 7.2 percent. The top three regions that consume natural gas for electricity all increased their consumption week-on-week. The Southeast (the largest consumer) burned 8.3 percent more natural gas for electric generation, and the Northeast and Texas consumed 3.6 percent and 16.7 percent more natural gas, respectively, in this sector. Overall natural gas consumption for power was up 24.5 percent compared to the corresponding week last year.
Supply for the week fell by 1.6 percent week-on-week, driven by lower dry gas production. Bentek estimates a 1.8 percent drop in dry production, although still 0.8 percent above this week last year. While imports from Canada increased by 1.2 percent, they had little impact on overall supply. As of Wednesday, September 5, about 1.2 Bcf per day of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was still shut-in, accounting for approximately 26 percent of total Gulf natural gas production, down from 72 percent the previous Wednesday.
Working natural gas in storage increased to 3,402 Bcf as of Friday, August 31, according to EIA’s WNGSR. This represents an implied net injection of 28 Bcf from the previous week. This week’s injection was 32 Bcf below the 5-year (2007-2011) average injection of 60 Bcf, and 34 Bcf below last year’s injection of 62 Bcf. Inventories are currently 395 Bcf (13.1 percent) greater than last year at this time and 329 Bcf (10.7 percent) greater than the 5-year average.
Two of the three storage regions posted increases this week. Inventories in the East and West regions increased by 34 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 50 Bcf) and 1 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 3 Bcf), respectively. The Producing region posted a decrease of 7 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 8 Bcf). In the Producing Region, working natural gas inventories decreased 6 Bcf (2.6 percent) in salt cavern facilities and remained at the previous week’s level in nonsalt cavern facilities.
Temperatures during the storage report week were 2.7 degrees warmer than the 30-year normal temperature and 0.1 degrees cooler than the same period last year. Temperatures in the lower 48 States averaged 74.9 degrees, compared to 75.0 last year and the 30-year normal of 72.1. During the week all regions were warmer than normal, particularly the West North Central and the East North Central Census divisions in the Midwest, which, respectively, averaged 5.3 and 4.7 degrees warmer than the 30-year normal.