Total consumption for the report week registered an overall decrease, with lower power sector demand offsetting increases in residential/commercial and industrial sector demand. According to estimates from BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek), domestic natural gas consumption declined by 5.1 percent from last week, driven by an 11.0 percent decrease in power sector consumption. Residential/commercial sector consumption finished the week up 4.5 percent, while industrial sector consumption rose relatively modestly (0.7 percent). Although down week-over-week, power sector consumption exceeded levels for the same week last year by 2.3 percent.
Total supply for the week was essentially unchanged, registering an overall increase of 0.2 percent, reflecting relatively flat dry gas production. According to Bentek estimates, domestic weekly dry gas production rose 0.8 percent higher over the previous week’s volumes (and was 3.4 percent higher than the same period last year). Imports from Canada fell by 5.8 percent, as declines in shipments to the Northeast and Midwest offset a small increase in the West. For the week, imports from Canada stand close to year-ago volumes (up 0.5 percent). While liquefied natural gas (LNG) sendout rose 4.8 percent over last week, sendout volumes remain well below (36.7 percent) year-ago levels.
Working natural gas in storage increased to 3,308 Bcf as of Friday, August 17, according to EIA’s WNGSR. This represents an implied net injection of 47 Bcf from the previous week. This week’s injection was 6 Bcf below the 5-year (2007-2011) average injection of 53 Bcf, and 19 Bcf below last year’s injection of 66 Bcf. Since April 27, injections of working natural gas into underground storage have fallen short of both year-ago levels and the 5-year average, although stocks remain well above historical levels. Inventories are currently 423 Bcf (14.7 percent) greater than last year at this time and 357 Bcf (12.1 percent) greater than the 5-year average.
Two of the three storage regions posted an increase this week. Inventories in the East and Producing regions increased by 48 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 51 Bcf) and 4 Bcf (the 5-year average change is 0 Bcf), respectively. The West region posted a decrease of 5 Bcf (the 5-year average net injection is 3 Bcf). In the Producing Region, working natural gas inventories decreased 2 Bcf (0.9 percent) in salt cavern facilities and increased 7 Bcf (0.8 percent) in nonsalt cavern facilities.
Temperatures during the storage report week were 0.7 degrees warmer than the 30-year normal temperature and 0.9 degrees warmer than the same period last year. Temperatures in the lower 48 States averaged 75.1 degrees, compared to 74.3 last year and the 30-year normal of 74.4. While overall temperatures were about a degree warmer than normal, temperatures varied somewhat across Census Divisions. The Pacific Census division in the West was particularly warm, averaging 7.0 degrees warmer than the 30-year normal. In the Midwest, temperatures in the West North Central and East North Central Census divisions were cool, averaging 4.0 and 3.9 degrees cooler, respectively, than the 30-year normal.