Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show Injection to Natural Gas Stocks of 18 to 22 Billion Cubic Feet
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a natural gas storage withdrawal of between 18 and 22 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week that ended March 18, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.
A withdrawal within expectations would be more than the 4-Bcf drawdown reported at this time last year and more than the 24-Bcf five-year average withdrawal, according to EIA data.
The wider range of analysts' expectations for this Thursday's report called for an injection of 14 Bcf to 25 Bcf. This will mark the first net injection of the year and the end of heating season.
Last week, the EIA reported a 1-Bcf withdrawal that reduced inventories to 2.478 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which was 998 Bcf, or 67.4%, more than the year-ago inventory of 1.480 Tcf, and 907 Bcf, or 48.3%, more than the five-year average of 1.671 Tcf.
A withdrawal within analysts' expectations of 20 Bcf would bring inventories to 2.498 Tcf, or 851 Bcf, more than five-year average inventories and more than 1 Tcf above last year's level in the corresponding week. This could end the heating season with storage levels 129 Bcf more than the all-time high of 2.369 Tcf which occurred in March 2012.
Very weak withdrawals occurred in the Midwest and Pacific storage regions, and once again hot weather in the southern United States prompted the South Central region to show the strongest injection activity according to sample data by Platts Bentek, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.
'The South Central region accounted for the vast majority of sample activity for the week and will drive this week's EIA announcement,' said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Bentek. 'Temperatures in Texas and the Southeast were up an average of 4 and 8 degrees, respectively, compared to the previous week's averages. The Midwest region is expected to be the second most significant contributor to this week's announcement, representing the majority of the forecast withdrawal.'
S&P Global Platts
Energy Information Administration (EIA)
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