Prices at many downstream trading locations recorded overall increases, dropping on Thursday and Friday before rebounding toward the end of the week. In the northeast, however, certain locations saw prices ending lower due to high start-of-week prices. For example, at the Algonquin Citygate trading point (for delivery into Boston), where temperatures approached 100 degrees, spot prices started the week at $8.87 per MMBtu, fell to $2.98 per MMBtu on Friday and then rose for the remainder of the period (in part due to pipeline maintenance that had been postponed earlier in the week) to close yesterday at a relatively high $5.58 per MMBtu (down 37.1 percent for the week). Prices at the Transcontinental Pipeline’s Zone 6 trading point (which serves New York City markets) declined from $4.11 per MMBtu last Wednesday (when temperatures peaked in the mid-90s) to $2.61 per MMBtu on Friday, then climbed to $3.17 per MMBtu by week’s end (down 22.9 percent).
Total consumption for the report week registered an overall increase, with higher power sector demand offsetting decreases in other sectors. According to estimates from BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek), domestic natural gas consumption rose by 1.7 percent from last week, driven by an increase of 4.7 percent in power sector consumption. Residential/commercial and industrial sector consumption ended the week down 2.8 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. For the power sector, consumption exceeded levels for the same week last year by 28.5 percent.
Total supply for the week registered an overall decline of 0.7 percent, reflecting a similar percentage drop in dry gas production. According to Bentek estimates, domestic weekly dry gas production was also 0.7 percent lower than the previous week (although 3.2 percent above the same time last year). Imports from Canada rose modestly (0.9 percent), with increases in shipments to the west and northeast offsetting declines in the midwest. For the week, imports from Canada stand 17.2 percent above year-ago volumes. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) sendout dropped sharply, down 29.4 percent from last week; sendout volumes remain well below (62.2 percent) year-ago levels.
Working natural gas in storage increased to 3,063 Bcf as of Friday, June 22, according to EIA’s WNGSR. This represents an implied net injection of 57 Bcf from the previous week. This week’s injection was 28 Bcf below the 5-year (2007-2011) injection of 85 Bcf, and 27 Bcf below last year’s injection of 84 Bcf. Since April 20, 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 653 Bcf greater than last year at this time and 613 Bcf greater than the 5-year average.