S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 22-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks

WASHINGTON - July 26, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 22-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week that ended July 21, 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.

Responses to the survey were tight, ranging for a build of 17 Bcf to 27 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EDT Thursday.

A 22-Bcf injection would be in line with the 20 Bcf build reported at this time in 2016 but much less than the five-year average, which is a 47 Bcf addition, according to EIA data. This would mark the third straight week the build was significantly less than the five-year average.

An injection within analysts’ expectations of 22 Bcf would expand stocks to 2.995 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It would shrink the surplus to the five-year average to 116 Bcf and shift the deficit versus the corresponding week in 2016 to 297 Bcf.

Last week the EIA reported a 28 Bcf build that pushed inventories to 2.973 Tcf, which was 9.1% less than the year-ago inventory of 3.272 Tcf, and 5% more than the five-year average of 2.832 Tcf.

Power burn increased across the southern U.S. last week, particularly in Texas, which likely led to an even higher withdrawal from the EIA’s South Central region than the 8 Bcf pull reported the week prior.

“Week over week, the South Central region is expected to account for the largest change in storage activity at a forecast net-withdrawal of 13 Bcf,” said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics, the forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts. “Demand in the South Central region increased by nearly 0.8 Bcf per day (/b) compared to the previous week, driven almost entirely by power burn demand. The largest increase in power burn demand was estimated to have occurred in Texas, where burn averaged 0.6 Bcf/d stronger than the previous week at 11.8 Bcf/d.”

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. S&P Global 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.

Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

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