Natural Gas Market Indicators – July 14, 2023
- Global LNG trade set a record high of 51.7 Bcf per day in 2022.
- Natural gas production out of the Appalachian Basin was relatively flat in 2022, a notable shift from the annual increases in production since 2010.
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports record-breaking demand for power on June 27.
High temperatures persist across the country as the West and East coast continue to experience unprecedented heat. The Midwest, in contrast, is experiencing cooler temperatures. NOAA forecasts high temperatures to remain on both coasts through the end of next week while cooler temperatures descend over the Midwest. Temperatures are expected to lessen slightly later in the month and into the beginning of August. For the week ending July 8, the weather in the U.S. was 2.5 percent warmer than last year and roughly 17 percent warmer than normal. The weather in the month of June was roughly 24 percent cooler than last year and 11 percent cooler than normal. Although NOAA has yet to alter their forecast, Colorado State University Climatologists have increased their original forecasted storms from 13 named storms to 18 named storms; nine of which are anticipated to be hurricanes and three anticipated to be major hurricanes of category three or higher. NOAA’s initial prediction was for twelve to seventeen named storms, so although Colorado State University’s is only slightly higher, the prediction does constitute a notable shift towards a more active hurricane season.
The EIA’s Natural Gas Weekly Update reported a 4.6 Bcf per day increase (from 69.9 to 74.2 Bcf per day) in consumption of natural gas in the U.S. for the week ending July 5. The rise in total demand was primarily driven by the 4.7 Bcf per day increase in demand for power generation from 39.3 to 44 Bcf per day. The residential/commercial sector only saw a 0.1 Bcf per day increase from 8.9 to 9.0 Bcf per day for the same report week, offsetting the 0.1 Bcf per day decrease from 21.4 to 21.3 Bcf per day in the industrial sector. ERCOT’s forecast of 84,664 MWh did not come to fruition, although usage did break the 2022 record with 80,282 MWh of demand on June 27 as reported by Reuters.
The Natural Gas Weekly Update reported a 1.6 Bcf per day increase in dry gas production week-over-week from 99.8 to 101.4 for the week ending July 5. The July 12 edition of EIA’s Today in Energy reports natural gas production out of the Appalachian region in 2022 was flat with a 3 percent decline in production year-over-year out of the Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford, and Greene counties in Pennsylvania. These four counties in Pennsylvania constitute 40 percent, roughly 13.9 Bcf per day, of the 34.7 Bcf per day of natural gas produced in the Appalachian Basin in 2022. The relatively flat year-over-year change is a notable shift as production out of the Appalachian Basin had previously increased annually since 2010.
Pipeline Imports and Exports
According to the EIA, imports from Canada dropped marginally from 5.9 Bcf per day to 5.8 Bcf per day for the report week ending July 5. Exports to Mexico also decreased by 0.1 Bcf per day drop week-over-week from 6.5 Bcf per day to 6.4 Bcf per day.
EIA’s July 5th edition of Today in Energy announced that global trade in LNG set a record high in 2022, averaging 51.7 Bcf per day. This record is a 5 percent increase year-over-year and is thought to be the result of liquefaction capacity additions in the U.S. mixed with the increased demand for LNG in Europe. EIA expanded further, that U.S. LNG exports increased 16 percent from 8.8 Bcf per day in 2021 to 10.2 Bcf per day in 2022. The addition of the Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility in the first six months of 2022 tipped the scale and pushed the U.S. to become the world’s top LNG exporter for the first time ever, a temporary placement due to the subsequent shutdown of the Freeport LNG export terminal. The EIA’s Natural Gas Weekly Update reports the average natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export terminals increased 1.3 Bcf per day week-over-week, from 12.8 Bcf per day to 14.1 Bcf per day for the report week ending July 5. The increase was primarily due to a 24 percent increase in natural gas deliveries to terminals in South Louisiana as the planned maintenance at Sabine Pass was completed.
Working Gas in Underground Storage
The EIA’s Natural Gas Storage Dashboard reported that working natural gas in underground storage totaled 2,877 Bcf for the week ending July 7, a 72 Bcf increase from the week prior. Net injections put natural gas storage 25 percent higher year-over-year, and roughly 15 percent above the 5-year average.
Baker Hughes reports that the U.S. rig count increased by six to a net total of 680 rigs for the week ending July 7. Over the first week of July, five oil-directed rigs were decommissioned while eleven gas-directed rigs were added.
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. The EIA reports that international prices out of the TTF in the Netherlands and JKM in Asia increased week-over-week. Prompt-month futures increased $0.50 to a weekly average of $11.22 per MMBTU at the TTF, while prompt-month futures increased $0.18 to a weekly average of $12.14 per MMBtu at JKM for the week ending July 5. As of July 14, prices out of Henry Hub were trading below $2.60 per MMBtu.
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