EIA - Natural Gas Storage Report - Mar 16

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EIA - Natural Gas Storage Report - Mar 16

Post by dan_s »

Per EIA:
Working gas in storage was 1,972 Bcf as of Friday, March 10, 2023, according to EIA estimates.
This represents a net decrease of 58 Bcf from the previous week.
Stocks were 521 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 378 Bcf above the five-year average of 1,594 Bcf.
At 1,972 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

My WAG as to where storage will be on March 31 adjusts to 1,792 Bcf. < I believe the next three weeks' combined draws will be 180 Bcf, with a 100 Bcf draw or more the week ending March 17.
> The 5-year average storage level on March 31 ("unofficial end of the winter heating season") is 1,540 Bcf.
Over the last five years storage levels at the end of the heating season have been:
> 2017: 1,354 Bcf < In 2017 draws from storage continued for three weeks in April and storage declined to 1,281 Bcf on April 20
> 2018: 1,155 Bcf
> 2019: 2,024 Bcf
> 2020: 1,784 Bcf
> 2021: 1,382 Bcf

1. We are definitely going to get to 3/31/2023 with storage within the 5-year average. There is no GLUT of U.S. natural gas.
2. Demand for U.S. natural gas is MUCH LARGER than it was in 2017 and likely to increase 2-4 Bcf per year going forward. So, the argument can be made that we need a lot more natural gas in storage before the next winter heating season arrives.
3. The Freeport LNG export facility was offline since June due to a fire. It was exporting 2 Bcfpd, so if it had been online (assuming everything else was the same) storage today would be ~500 Bcf lower than it is today.
4. On my "Wish List": If winter weather (or just cooler than normal) extends into April in the eastern U.S. (the current forecast) the small surplus in storage on 3/31/2023 should be much lower by the end of April.
Dan Steffens
Energy Prospectus Group
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