Stocks have now surpassed the 5-year average for the first time since the week of April 15. While the East region’s deficit to the 5-year average shrank significantly, after a build that was 24 Bcf above normal, stocks remain 52 Bcf below the average. This shortfall is now more than offset by levels in the Producing and West regions, 54 Bcf and 3 Bcf above average respectively, after higher than average builds in both regions this week.
Temperatures during the week ending Thursday, September 22, averaged 64.9 degrees, 4.7 degrees cooler than last week (see Temperature Maps and Data). Temperatures were cool for this time of year, averaging 1.4 degrees colder than normal and 4.0 degrees colder than last year. Regionally, temperatures were higher than normal in the West, but cooler than average in most other areas of the country. As the weather begins to turn colder, natural gas use in the electric power sector is replaced by heating consumption. Cooling degree-days were 6 percent below normal, but heating degree-days were 35 percent above normal for the week.
Other Market Trends
Global Tightness in LNG Markets Draws Cargoes Away from the United States. Maintenance on LNG terminals and declines in production from major LNG exporting countries has led to current tightness in global LNG markets, according to recent reports from BENTEK Energy Services, LLC. Both Qatar and Trinidad have announced maintenance on facilities this fall, and, according to BENTEK, the Qatar maintenance could take 1 Bcf/d off the market through November. Prices in Asian markets, which are often much greater than U.S. prices, remain high, with reported prices in Japan averaging in the $17 per MMBtu range. U.S. LNG imports are expected to remain low, as low U.S. prices will not attract LNG onto the pipeline grid, but facilities capable of re-export may be further utilized.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Approved to Begin Operations on Part of a Pipeline Addition in Marcellus. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday gave Tennessee Gas Pipeline approval to begin operating on one segment of its 300 Line project in the Marcellus Shale. The project will add seven looping segments to its existing pipeline. The project will add approximately 125 miles of pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The segment FERC approved Monday is located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and the company hopes to have all segments online by November 1. The Tennessee project is one of many that have been planned for the Marcellus Shale, to support growth in production in the area.