NYMEX September gas rises on bullish build to storage stocks

Houston (Platts)--24 Aug 2017 456 pm EDT/2056 GMT

The NYMEX September natural gas futures contract rose 2.1 cents Thursday to settle at $2.949/MMBtu, as the US Energy Information Administration announced a lower-than-expected storage build for the week ended August 18.

The EIA estimated 43-Bcf storage build for that week, below the 46 Bcf consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.

The build was also below the rolling five-year average injection of 53 Bcf -- the sixth time in seven weeks a build has paced below the five-year average, according to EIA data. Stocks currently sit at an estimated 3.125 Tcf, only 1.5% above the 3.08 Tcf averaged over the past five years.

Hurricane Harvey, currently in the Gulf Mexico, may also be providing support. The National Hurricane Center in its most recent forecast projected that the storm could reach Category 3 status before making landfall on the Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday morning.

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Any loss in production from the storm's impact could be offset, however, by power outages in demand areas because of the storm.

Platts Analytics' Bentek Energy projected US dry gas production would average 72.85 Bcf/d over the next 14 days, up from the 71.3 Bcf/d averaged so far this year.

Looking ahead, the most recent six- to 10-day weather outlook from the National Weather Service forecast cooler-than-average weather across the Northeast and Midcontinent, which could allow stocks to build at an above-average pace.

Platts Analytics projected US demand would average 63.25 Bcf/d over the next 14 days, down from the 66.9 Bcf/d averaged so far in August.

The NYMEX settlement price is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EDT (2300 GMT).

--Eric Janssen,
--Edited by Lisa Miller,

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