Natural Gas Market Indicators – September 1, 2023
- Hurricane Idalia made landfall while Hurricane Franklin lurks in the Atlantic.
- Natural gas demand for the power generation sector surged to near record-breaking levels on August 26.
- Dry gas production hit a new weekly high of 102.8 Bcf per day.
- Three new countries began importing LNG in the first seven months of 2023.
The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season’s slow start has abruptly escalated with the formation of two named systems: Hurricane Franklin in the west Atlantic and Hurricane Idalia in the Gulf Coast. Idalia intensified as it tracked north in Gulf, before making landfall on Florida’s west coast. Ultimately, Idalia caused a record storm surge and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses lost power. As of this moment, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has not reported any impact on oil and gas production due to Idalia. Hurricane Franklin is not currently expected to make landfall in the US.
In terms of temperatures, the U.S. lower-48 has seen sweltering conditions due to a high-pressure heat dome. The Midwest experienced an unusual spike in cooling degree days, posting double the typical numbers for this time of year. Specifically, the West North Central division—spanning from Iowa and Kansas through the Dakotas and Minnesota—recorded temperatures 102 percent above the norm for the week ending August 26, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Comparatively, the U.S. as a whole had cooling degree days that were 11.4 percent warmer than last year and 27.9 percent warmer than the 30-year average.
Natural gas demand saw a significant upswing, specifically in the power generation sector. According to preliminary data from S&P Global Commodity Insights, the flows of natural gas to electric power in the U.S. lower-48 surged to a near-record 51.7 Bcf on August 26. Additionally, regional daily records for gas flows were established on August 24 in the Midcontinent and on August 25 in both the Southeast and Texas. Taking a broader view, total U.S. natural gas demand averaged 102.5 Bcf per day for the month of August, marking a 6 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.
A noteworthy update has emerged from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook. According to the latest forecast, U.S. dry natural gas production is projected to average 103.0 Bcf per day in 2023 and 104.1 Bcf per day in 2024. These estimates represent an upward revision of 0.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, compared to their July forecasts. Shifting focus to near-term supplies, dry gas production for the week ending August 30 averaged 102.8 Bcf per day, marking a new weekly high, as reported by the EIA Natural Gas Weekly.
Pipeline Imports and Exports
According to the EIA, imports from Canada remained unchanged week-over-week, with 6 Bcf per day in imports for the report week ending August 30. Although imports from Canada remained consistent, exports to Mexico rose 0.1 Bcf per day from 6.1 to 6.2 Bcf per day.
International LNG prompt-month futures decreased at both JKM in East Asia and TTF in the Netherlands. Weekly average prompt-month futures for LNG cargoes in East Asia decreased $0.76 to a weekly average of $13.33 per MMBtu, while futures decreased by $1.13 at TTF to a weekly average of $11.22 per MMBtu. Prices are down $50.69 from $64.02 and $72.40 from $83.62 per MMBtu at JKM and TTF, respectively. The August 30 edition of Today in Energy forecasts global LNG import capacity to expand by 23 Bcf per day, or 16 percent, by the end of 2024 compared to 2022. The EIA is basing this forecast on data and announcements from the International Group of Liquified Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL), which also shows Germany, the Philippines, and Vietnam all began importing LNG for the first time during the first seven months of 2023. The EIA also anticipates 55 countries to have LNG regasification terminals with a combined capacity of 163 Bcf per day by the end of 2024.
Working Gas in Underground Storage
The EIA’s Natural Gas Storage Dashboard reported 32 Bcf storage build to 3,115 Bcf of working gas inventories for the week ending August 25. Stocks are 9 percent higher than the five-year average and 18 percent higher year-over-year. All storage regions across the U.S. are utilizing more than 50 percent of available underground storage capacity, the South Central region is in the lead by utilizing 80 percent of its nonsalt underground storage capacity.
Baker Hughes reported a decline of 10 rigs in the U.S. rig count, bringing the total to 632 rigs for the week ending August 25. The weekly decline was comprised of eight decommissioned oil-directed rigs and two decommissioned gas-directed rigs. The Permian fell by seven rigs, two dropped in the Haynesville, and one dropped from the Cana Woodford basin.
Looking ahead on the futures strip, futures rise above $3.00 per MMBtu for the January 2024 contracts before falling back again as winter progresses. October futures are trading below $2.85 per MMBtu, still struggling to rise above $3.00 per MMBtu. Spot prices throughout the U.S vary widely depending on region, the highest being Northern CA hovering around $3.40and the lowest prices out of New York City around $1.43per MMBtu.
For questions please contact Juan Alvarado | email@example.com or Morgan Hoy | firstname.lastname@example.orgTo be added to the distribution list for this report, please notify Lucy Castaneda-Land | email@example.com
In issuing and making this publication available, AGA is not undertaking to render professional or other services for or on behalf of any person or entity. Nor is AGA undertaking to perform any duty owed by any person or entity to someone else. Anyone using this document should rely on his or her own independent judgment or, as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances. The statements in this publication are for general information and represent an unaudited compilation of statistical information that could contain coding or processing errors. AGA makes no warranties, express or implied, nor representations about the accuracy of the information in the publication or its appropriateness for any given purpose or situation. This publication shall not be construed as including, advice, guidance, or recommendations to take, or not to take, any actions or decisions any matter, including without limitation relating to investments or the purchase or sale of any securities, shares or other assets of any kind. Should you take any such action or decision; you do so at your own risk. Information on the topics covered by this publication may be available from other sources, which the user may wish to consult for additional views or information not covered by this publication.
Copyright © 2023 American Gas Association