Total demand decreased moderately for the report week. According to BENTEK Energy Services LLC (Bentek) estimates, overall natural gas consumption in the United States decreased by 3.2 percent. The overall decline was led by significantly lower natural gas consumption in the power sector, down 7.2 percent versus the previous week. Power burn declined in the Southeast region by 9.4 percent, in the Southwest region by 15.6 percent, in the Midwest region by 25.4 percent, and in Texas by 6.8 percent. During the current report week, much of the central and southern parts of the country experienced mild temperatures that were cooler than normal and cooler than the previous week. Power burn in other parts of the country was up slightly. Exports to Mexico grew 12.4 percent week-over-week and are 32.0 percent higher than the same week last year.
Total supply for the report week was down slightly. Bentek estimates that supply was down slightly for the report period. U.S. gross and dry natural gas production both declined by 0.5 percent week-on-week, following last week’s 0.3 percent decline. Gross and dry gas production for the week are still 2.4 percent above last year’s level. Canadian imports were up 1.9 percent, with an 11.3 percent increase in imports to the Midwest, eclipsing small declines in net imports into the West and Northeast. Net imports into the Northeast, which were near zero last report week, fell slightly this week to become small net exports to Canada, according to Bentek.
Working natural gas in storage increased to 1,865 Bcf as of Friday, May 3, according to EIA's WNGSR. This represents an implied net injection of 88 Bcf from the previous week. Both the 5-year average and year-ago stock changes for the week were implied net injections of 69 Bcf and 30 Bcf, respectively. Inventories are currently 737 Bcf (28.3 percent) less than last year at this time and 99 Bcf (5.0 percent) below the 5-year average of 1,964 Bcf.
All three storage regions posted increases this week. Inventories in the East, West, and Producing regions increased by 52 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 41 Bcf), 5 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 9 Bcf), and 31 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 19 Bcf), respectively. In the Producing region, working natural gas inventories increased 14 Bcf (7.1 percent) in salt cavern facilities and increased 17 Bcf (3.2 percent) in nonsalt cavern facilities.