S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 92-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks

WASHINGTON - May 09, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 92-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week ended May 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 79 Bcf to 98 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EST on Thursday.

A 92 Bcf injection would be more than the 49 Bcf build in the corresponding week last year and the five-year average build of 69 Bcf.

An injection within analysts’ expectations of 92 Bcf would increase stocks to 1.435 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would shrink to 517 Bcf and the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would contract to 860 Bcf.

The EIA reported a 62 Bcf injection for the week ended April 27. It increased inventories to 1.343 Tcf, which was 40.2% less than the year-ago inventory of 2.256 Tcf, and 28.4% less than the five-year average of 1.877 Tcf.

"Even as injections push against the border of triple-digit territory, the Lower 48 has a lot of ground to make up," said Kent Berthoud, storage analyst with S&P Global Platts. "The U.S. would typically see a build of 210 Bcf throughout the month of April. Instead, the longest withdrawal season on record means this April is only expected to add 30 Bcf to stocks."

However, until temperatures break out of the trough between heating and cooling demand, a string of bearish injections are likely as utilities and marketers try to replenish stocks, made possible by 7.7 Bcf/d in year-over-year production growth.

An early estimate for the week ending May 11 indicates a build of 100 Bcf, which is 13 Bcf more than the five-year average.

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.

*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, kathleen.tanzy@spglobal.com

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