Total consumption for the report week registered an overall decrease, reflecting lower demand across all sectors. According to estimates from BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek), domestic natural gas consumption fell by 11.9 percent from last week, driven by a decrease of 23.5 percent in residential/commercial sector consumption. Industrial sector consumption finished the week down 2.1 percent, while power sector consumption dipped modestly (down 0.2 percent). Residential/commercial sector consumption trailed levels for the same week last year by a considerable margin (24.7 percent).
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Total supply was unchanged for the week, largely reflecting essentially flat dry natural gas production. According to Bentek estimates, domestic weekly dry natural gas production declined 0.6 percent from the previous week's volumes (while remaining 0.5 percent higher than the same period last year). Imports from Canada rose by 7.4 percent, with all regions showing increased shipments, particularly the Midwest, up 25.1 percent. For the week, imports from Canada stand moderately below year-ago volumes (down 5.2 percent). While liquefied natural gas (LNG) sendout rose 25.3 percent over last week, sendout volumes remain well below (62.6 percent) year-ago levels.
Working natural gas in storage decreased to 3,804 Bcf as of Friday, November 30, according to EIA's WNGSR. This represents an implied net withdrawal of 73 Bcf from the previous week, the third and largest withdrawal for this heating season. This week's net withdrawal was 22 Bcf below the 5-year (2007-2011) average net withdrawal of 51 Bcf, and 59 Bcf below last year's injection of 14 Bcf. Inventories are currently 33 Bcf (0.9 percent) less than last year at this time and 168 Bcf (4.6 percent) greater than the 5-year average.
All three storage regions posted decreases this week. Inventories in the East, West, and Producing regions decreased by 56 Bcf (the 5-year average net withdrawal is 35 Bcf), 3 Bcf (the 5-year average net withdrawal is 7 Bcf), and 14 Bcf (the 5-year average net withdrawal is 9 Bcf), respectively. In the Producing region, working natural gas inventories increased 1 Bcf (0.3 percent) in salt cavern facilities and decreased 13 Bcf (1.3 percent) in nonsalt cavern facilities.
Temperatures during the storage report week were 0.4 degree cooler than the 30-year normal temperature and 5.9 degrees cooler than the same period last year. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 41.7 degrees, compared to 47.6 last year and the 30-year normal of 42.1 degrees. While slightly below normal overall, temperatures varied somewhat across Census divisions. In the South, the South Atlantic and East South Central Census divisions were relatively cool, averaging 4.3 and 3.9 degrees, respectively, cooler than the 30-year normal. In the West, the Mountain and Pacific Census divisions were particularly warm, averaging 6.9 and 4.1 degrees warmer than the 30-year normal. Heating degree-days nationwide were 1.2 percent above normal and 32.3 percent above last year.