Working gas in storage was 3,071 Bcf as of Friday, December 20, 2013, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 177 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 591 Bcf less than last year at this time and 313 Bcf below the 5-year average of 3,384 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 242 Bcf below the 5-year average following net withdrawals of 115 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 37 Bcf below the 5-year average of 1,111 Bcf after a net withdrawal of 41 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 33 Bcf below the 5-year average after a net drawdown of 21 Bcf. At 3,071 Bcf, total working gas is within the 5-year historical range. Working Gas in Underground Storage Compared with 5-Year Range

Note: The shaded area indicates the range between the historical minimum and maximum values for the weekly series from 2008 through 2012.
Source: Form EIA-912, "Weekly Underground Natural Gas Storage Report." The dashed vertical lines indicate current and year-ago weekly periods.

Poster's notes:

Marketwatch did not post its "regular" feature on this data last week (from which this weekly post is usually otherwise taken or cited), thus the EIA website reporting is cited here.  However, research indicates Platt's forecasted a withdrawal of 178 bcf, and average consensus data indicated a withdrawal of 177 bcf (which pinpointed the actual reported withdrawal, and obviously in line with analyst's expectations).

EIA noted that inventories lie within the working five-year range (2008 week 51 was approximately 2% below this mark, which forms the "bottom" of the five year range) but approximately 9.2% below the five-year average (effectively counterbalanced by the 2011-12 portion of the chart which formed the "top" of the five-year range for the entire year, which at this point was nearly 8% above the five-year average).

Overall, one would have look effectively "pre-Haynesville" for markedly lower inventory numbers at this point in the year according to EIA historical data.  It would appear that a withdrawal of 143 bcf would effectively "keep pace" with the 2008 withdrawal rate for the past week, and it would take a withdrawal approaching 200 bcf to take inventory below the five-year range.  A rate between these two numbers appears likely in this coming week's report.

Tags: eia, gas, natural, ngs, stoage

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I counter predict - week covered by this weeks report is going to be colder than the week previous.  I think we will see withdrawal in excess of 200 BCF and will drop below the 5 year average.  One of the principle drivers of this will continue to be gas going "off line" due to freeze ups in the the Bakken and Marcellus.  Also, the climate prediction center is calling for colder than normal weather in the first half of January.  I'd say its bullish for gas.

One possible flaw in your 200 BCF prediction is the holiday.  A lot of commercial and industrial users were closed during Christmas and New Years.  If it had been a normal work week, I would be more inclined to support your prediction.


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