S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 34-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks

WASHINGTON - August 09, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 34-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week that ended August 4, 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 ranged for a build of 30 Bcf to 41 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EDT Thursday.

A 34-Bcf injection would be more than the 24-Bcf withdrawal reported at this time in 2016. But the build will still remain well below the five-year average injection of 54 Bcf. This would mark the fifth straight week the build was significantly less than the five-year average as the storage surplus continues to vanish at a rapid rate.

An injection within analysts’ expectations of 40 Bcf would expand stocks to 3.044 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It would shrink the surplus to the five-year average to 67 Bcf while the deficit versus the corresponding week in 2016 would shift down to 269 Bcf.

Last week the EIA reported a 20-Bcf build that pushed inventories to 3.010 Tcf, which was 8.5% less than the year-ago inventory of 3.289 Tcf, and 3% more than the five-year average of 2.923 Tcf.

The most significant change in storage activity from the week prior likely occurred in the EIA’s South Central storage region.

“Week over week, U.S. population-weighted temperatures averaged about 2 degrees cooler, sending U.S. power burn estimates down an average 2.8 Bcf/d,” said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics, the forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts. “The largest estimated decline in power burn, accounting for more than half the net-decline on a U.S. level, occurred in the Southeast, where burn averaged 9.7 Bcf/d compared to 11.2 Bcf/d the week prior, for an average decline of 1.5 Bcf/d. Temperatures in the Southeast averaged nearly 4 degrees cooler than the previous week, at 80 degrees.”

Platts Analytics expects a withdrawal of only 4 Bcf in the South Central region after the EIA reported a 17 Bcf draw the week prior.

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.

Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

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