Total demand for the report week showed an overall slight decrease. According to estimates from BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek), overall natural gas consumption for the nation fell by 0.3 percent. Consumption in the industrial and residential/commercial sectors fell by 1.3 percent and 4.4 percent respectively, which was nearly offset by an increase in natural gas consumed for power generation, which increased by 2.7 percent. The Southeast, which is the region with the largest consumption of natural gas for power generation, burned 11.7 percent more gas this week than last week. Texas, the state with the largest consumption of natural gas for power, burned 12 percent less gas this week, although the net result was a week-on-week increase in total U.S. natural gas demand for power.
Total supply for the report week showed a slight overall increase. Bentek estimates that overall supply, which averaged about 70.2 Bcf per day across the report week, rose by 0.3 percent, driven by a 0.2 percent rise in production. Imports from Canada increased by 1.0 percent, having a slight positive effect on overall supply. This was driven by the West, where imports were up 8.2 percent over the previous reporting week and 23.8 percent above this week last year.
Working natural gas in storage increased to 3,653 Bcf as of Friday, September 28, according to EIA’s WNGSR. This represents an implied net injection of 77 Bcf from the previous week. This week’s injection was 1 Bcf below the 5-year (2007-2011) average injection of 78 Bcf, and 24 Bcf below last year’s injection of 101 Bcf. Inventories are currently 272 Bcf (8.0 percent) greater than last year at this time and 281 Bcf (8.3 percent) greater than the 5-year average.
All three storage regions posted increases this week. Inventories in the East, West, and Producing regions increased by 42 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 47 Bcf), 8 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 9 Bcf), and 27 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 23 Bcf), respectively. In the Producing region, working natural gas inventories increased 13 Bcf (5.6 percent) in salt cavern facilities and increased 14 Bcf (1.5 percent) in nonsalt cavern facilities.
Temperatures during the storage report week were 0.4 degrees cooler than the 30-year normal temperature and 3.4 degrees cooler than the same period last year. Temperatures in the lower 48 States averaged 64.3 degrees, compared to 67.7 last year and the 30-year normal of 64.7 degrees. While overall temperatures were a little cooler than normal, temperatures varied somewhat across Census divisions. In the Midwest, temperatures in the East North Central and West North Central Census divisions were cool, averaging 5.1 and 4.1 degrees cooler, respectively, than the 30-year normal. In the West, the Mountain and Pacific Census divisions were particularly warm, averaging 4.6 and 4.0 degrees warmer, respectively, than the 30-year normal.