Natural Gas Storage Report: Withdrawal Season Week 9 (Week Ending December 29, 2017)

Cliff McGaha, Energy Markets Analyst

2018 is here, and predictably the first report of the New Year was the largest draw yet of the season. Today, the EIA reported a net withdrawal of 206 Bcf with major heating markets of the Midwest and East accounting for just over half at 108 Bcf. This however was still a slightly bearish number compared to market expectations of a 221 Bcf pull, though far greater than last year’s 49 Bcf and the five year average of 105 Bcf. The holiday week may have quelled commercial demand for this week’s report, but as Arctic blasts continue to sweep from the Midwest and through the Northeast, these frigid temperatures will no doubt continue the trend of larger surplus drops.

Working natural gas in storage currently stands at 3,126 Bcf, which is 192 Bcf (6.1%) lower than this time last year, and 192 (6.1%) below the five year average.

The February 2018 NYMEX future was relatively flat at just over $3.00/MmBTU, and has since plummeted to $2.87/MmBTU.


Outlook for the Balance of Storage Season:

The graph below compares historical 12, 24 and 36 month strip prices and storage levels for the past 5 years.


The following table shows the injection numbers we will need to average by week to hit selected historical levels:


The following two graphs show current natural gas in storage compared to each of the last 5 years and weekly storage averages and patterns.



The graph below shows the injections through the current week over the past 5 years. 


Finally, the graphic below depicts the 6 to 10 day temperature range outlook from the National Weather Service. 

Current Week's Outlook

Future Outlook

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