Natural Gas Market Indicators – August 1, 2023
- Gas flows for electric generation hit an all-time record of 53.2 Bcf on July 28.
- June 2023 set a record as the warmest June for the globe in NOAA’s weather record. However, in the U.S., temperatures were below average during June.
- The Energy Information Administration’s Drilling Productivity Report anticipates an increase in natural gas production out of the Anadarko, Haynesville, and Eagle Ford regions for the month of August.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that June 2023 was the warmest June for the globe in the 174-year record. Locally, temperatures were cooler than average across the U.S., leading to milder conditions for the month. However, the local heat returned in July. Temperatures across the south have remained in the triple digits as the unmoving heat dome continues to dominate the weather patterns in the U.S. As of July 26, the extreme heat from the high-pressure region began to spread northward to the central Plains and Missouri Valley. In the upcoming weeks, NOAA anticipates that dangerous heat will engulf much of the eastern half of the U.S. Some of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic may even reach their hottest temperatures of 2023 yet. The Weather Company, the forecasting technology company which is owned and operated by The Weather Channel, released an updated hurricane season outlook on July 20. This outlook focuses on the warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures which could override the Pacific El Nino, potentially creating a more active hurricane season than previously anticipated. This level of warming has not been seen since 1950 and makes accurate forecasting difficult, as noted by The Weather Company meteorologists.
EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Update reported a decrease of 0.4 Bcf per day in natural gas demand from 76.3 to 75.9 Bcf per day for the week ending July 26. This decrease could be attributed to power generation declining by 0.6 Bcf per day while residential/commercial and industrial both rose by only 0.1 Bcf per day. S&P Global reported that gas flows for electric generation hit an all-time record of 53.2 Bcf on July 28.
EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Update reported a 0.3 Bcf per day increase in dry gas production week-over-week from 101 to 101.3 for the week ending July 26. Natural gas production has remained consistently strong this summer, even as demand for gas by electricity generators waned over the last week of July. The EIA’s July 17 update to the Drilling Productivity Report anticipates an increase in natural gas production from the Anadarko, Haynesville, and Eagle Ford regions for the month of August. The anticipated increase in the four regions is to culminate in a 0.1 Bcf increase in natural gas production for the month of August.
Pipeline Imports and Exports
According to the EIA, imports from Canada increased by 0.1 Bcf per day week-over-week to 6.1 Bcf per day for the report week ending July 26. Exports to Mexico decreased by 0.1 Bcf per day week-over-week to 6.2 Bcf per day.
Average natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export terminals averaged 12.6 Bcf per day, for the week ending July 26, essentially unchanged from the week prior. Europe saw decreasing natural gas prices in July. Trading at the TTF opened at $12.30 per MMBtu on July 1, but ultimately settled slightly above $9.00 per MMBtu on July 31. Asian markets saw a similar trend in July, opening at $14.13 per MMBtu on July 1 at the JKM, and closing at $10.90 per MMBtu on July 31. The EIA reports that the weekly average front-month futures prices for liquid natural gas (LNG) cargos in East Asia decreased $0.10 for a weekly average of $11.13 per MMBtu.
Working Gas in Underground Storage
EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report indicated that total stocks of natural gas increased by 16 Bcf per day, from 2,971 Bcf per day to 2,987 Bcf per day, for the week ending July 21. Net injections totaled 16 Bcf per day for the week, 2 Bcf per day less than last year’s net injections for the same week. The average rate of injections into storage is 4 percent higher than the five-year average so far this season.
Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count decreased by five to a total of 664 rigs for the week ending July 28. Three gas-directed rigs, one oil-directed rig, and one miscellaneous rig were decommissioned.
According to the EIA’s Natural Gas Storage Dashboard, the twelve-month strip for natural gas prompt-month futures continues to remain below $4.00 per MMBtu. Spot prices across the U.S. continue to vary depending on jurisdiction and climate. EIA’s prices section of Today in Energy reports spot prices dropping in most of the U.S. as of August 1, although the Midwest, Louisiana, and the Southwest experienced slight increases. As of August 1, prompt-month future prices out of Henry Hub were trading below $2.60 per MMBtu.
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