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S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 93-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks


WASHINGTON - May 23, 2018


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 93-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week ended May 18, 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 87 Bcf to 102 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report on Thursday morning.



A 93 Bcf injection would be more than the 74 Bcf build in the corresponding week last year but nearly in line with the five-year average build of 89 Bcf. It would do little to diminish the massive storage deficit created by withdrawals extending deep into April.



An injection within analysts’ expectations of 93 Bcf would increase stocks to 1.631 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would shrink slightly to 497 Bcf and the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would contract to 802 Bcf.



The EIA reported a 106 Bcf injection for the week ended May 11. It increased inventories to 1.538 Tcf, which was 34.8% less than the year-ago inventory of 2.359 Tcf, and 24.6% less than the five-year average of 2.039 Tcf.



"Gas-fired power burn stepped up this week, dampening some early expectations for a string of triple-digit builds through May," said Kent Berthoud, a storage analyst with S&P Global Platts. "Given that power burn as well as residential and commercial demand increased week over week, there’s some potential analysts are overestimating demand and the EIA reports a higher injection than expected. After the rapid flip in the balance since injection season, some of the calibrations intended to account for underestimating demand in the winter may be overshooting the mark in the summer."



Supply was relatively flat week over week with drops in onshore production being offset by an increase in Canadian imports.



An early forecast for the week ending May 25 is calling for a build of 96 Bcf, or 1 Bcf less 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.


CONTACT
Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@spglobal.com



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