During the first 12 weeks of the 2019 summer natural gas refill season, typically April 1 to Oct. 31, net injections of working gas into underground storage in the Lower 48 states set a record pace, the Energy Information Administration reported.
Weekly net injections for the weeks ending April 5 through June 21, totaled 1.17 trillion cubic feet (TBcf), averaging about 98 billion cubic feet per week, Kallanish Energy finds.
Net injections up
Cumulative net injections have exceeded the five-year average by 41%, reducing the current five-year average deficit by 314 Bcf. As a result, working natural gas stocks narrowed to 171 Bcf lower than the five-year average as of June 21.
Continued strength in natural gas production and relatively mild temperatures throughout most of the Lower 48 contributed to these gains in natural gas storage stocks.
So far this summer, natural gas production is up 7.3 Bcf per day (Bcf/d) compared to last summer at this time. Natural gas consumption (including net natural gas exports to Mexico and LNG feedstock) is up 2.6 Bcf/d, increasing the amount of natural gas available for injection, according to OPIS PointLogic’s July 1, supply and demand balance data.
Exceeding all previous refill seasons
At this early stage of the refill season, which typically runs roughly 31 weeks, cumulative 2019 net injections exceed all previous refill seasons, according to EIA.
The next-largest injection up to this point was the 2015 refill season, which totaled 1.05 Tcf through the first 12 weeks of the year. The record-setting refill season of 2014 had reached only 1.00 Tcf at this stage of that refill season.
“With the fast start to this injection season, 2019 is on pace to see one of the strongest refill seasons since 1994, even if the rate of increase slows,” according to EIA.
Cumulative injections could reach 2.40 Tcf
If net injections into storage match the five-year (2014–2018) average for the remainder of the refill season, cumulative net injections will total 2.40 Tcf by the end of October.
The 2019 refill season would be the fifth-largest refill season since 1994. Net injections for the season would exceed the five-year average fill by 16%.
Working gas stocks would total 3.53 Tcf at the end of the refill season — roughly 5% lower than the five-year average.
“Weekly net injections of natural gas into the Lower 48 states’ storage fields typically reach the 100 Bcf threshold about two times during a normal refill season, although in some years it doesn’t reach the threshold at all,” said EIA.
Exceeding 100 Bcf 7 of last 9 weeks
For 2019, weekly net Lower 48 injections into storage have exceeded the 100 Bcf threshold seven out of the last nine weeks (April 26- June 21).
Weekly net injections topped 100 Bcf 10 times — the highest single-season tally — in 2014, and net injections reached triple digits only once in 2018.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.