Natural gas stocks decreased by 63 billion cubic feet for the week ending March 23, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Analysts were expecting a storage withdrawal of about 87 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is a withdrawal of 46 billion cubic feet, and last year’s storage decrease for the week totaled 43 billion cubic feet.
This is as the United States is penetrating export markets that Nigeria sends its Liquefied Natural Gas cargoes. US LNG exports reportedly quadrupled in 2017. Nigeria exports over 70 per cent of its commercialised natural gas.
The country saw substantial growth in all fossil fuels exports last year, with crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products rising by 89 per cent, 36 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the US Energy Department on Wednesday.
Natural gas inventories fell by 86 billion cubic feet in the week ending March 16.
Natural gas futures for May delivery traded up about 2.2% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $2.76 per million BTUs, and slipped to around $2.74 shortly after the report was released.
The forecast for overall natural gas demand next week falls into the “moderate” range as milder-than-normal conditions are expected to prevail in the Northeast through the weekend. Both the South and the West are also expected to experience some warming.
Total U.S. stockpiles fell week over week to 32.7 per cent below last year’s level and are now 20% below the five-year average.
The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 1.383 trillion cubic feet at the end of last week, around 346 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.729 trillion cubic feet and 672 billion cubic feet below last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 2.055 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
Frontpage February 5, 2020