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S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 40-Bcf Draw to Natural Gas Stocks


Washington - December 07, 2016


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday is expected to report a 40-billion cubic feet (Bcf) withdrawal for the week that ended December 2, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.

The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EST Thursday.

A 40-Bcf pull would be smaller than the 69-Bcf pull reported at this time in 2015 and also less than the five-year average, which is a 61-Bcf withdrawal, according to EIA data.

A draw within analysts’ expectations of 40 Bcf would shrink stocks to 3.955 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). However, it would expand the storage surplus relative to historical norms, bringing levels to 256 Bcf above the five-year average and 53 Bcf more than the corresponding week last year.

The expected withdrawal is forecast to be smaller than last week’s announcement, when the EIA reported a 50-Bcf pull that reduced inventories to 3.995 Tcf, which was 0.6% more than the year-ago inventory of 3.971 Tcf, and 6.3% more than the five-year average of 3.760 Tcf.

Less demand in the EIA’s East storage region was the primary reason for the smaller than normal withdrawal.

“Week over week, the East region is estimated to have seen the largest swing in storage activity at a predicted withdrawal of 9 Bcf compared to an EIA announced withdrawal of 23 Bcf the week prior,” said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics, the forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts. “In the Midwest, a withdrawal of 18 Bcf is expected compared to an announced withdrawal of 23 Bcf the week prior. Sample activity in the region fell by 1.3 Bcf compared to the previous week as temperatures averaged 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer.”

However, a larger week-over-week pull is expected from the Mountain region as temperatures fell to average 34.3 degrees Fahrenheit across the Rockies, a week-over-week drop of 5.5 degrees F.

The weekly analyst survey is conducted by S&P Global Platts’ editorial team, and is published every Wednesday, one day ahead of the 10:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday release of the weekly natural gas storage report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.

Note: Bentek Energy, which along with Eclipse Energy Group, formed Platts Analytics. Bentek Energy was acquired by Platts in 2011. **In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into five storage regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Mountain and Pacific. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.



CONTACT
Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@platts.com

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