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Energy

U.S. natgas highest since Dec on rising LNG exports, hot weather

    Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures on Thursday rose to their highest since December ahead of
a report expected to show a smaller-than-usual weekly storage build, rising liquefied natural gas (LNG)
exports and forecasts the weather will remain hot through late August.
    Analysts said U.S. utilities injected 30 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage in the week
ended July 31, when consumers were still cranking up their air conditioners to escape a heat wave that
blanketed much of the country since late June.
    That compares with an increase of 58 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19)
average build of 33 bcf. If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 3.271 trillion cubic feet
(tcf), 15.0% above the five-year average of 2.845 tcf for this time of year.
    By the end of the injection season in October, analysts expect U.S. inventories will reach a record
high over 4.1 tcf.
    Front-month gas futures rose 3.5 cents, or 1.6%, to $2.226 per million British thermal units
at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT), putting the contract on track for its highest close since Dec. 26.
    With hot weather expected to return, data provider Refinitiv projected U.S. demand, including
exports, will rise from an average of 88.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) this week to 90.6 bcfd next
week. That is a little lower than Refinitiv's outlook on Wednesday as higher gas prices cause power
generators to burn more coal instead of gas.
    U.S. LNG exports are on track to rise for the first time in six months as the amount of pipeline gas
flowing to the plants rose to 3.9 bcfd in August from a 21-month low of 3.3 bcfd in July when buyers
canceled dozens of cargoes. 
    
                                       Week ended      Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                            Jul          Jul 24       Jul 31     average    
                                       31(Forecast)     (Actual)                  Jul 31    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +30            +26          +58         +33 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                         
 Two-Week Total Forecast               Current Day     Prior Day    Prior Year   10-Year    30-Year Norm
                                                                                   Norm     
 U.S. GFS HDDs                              2              3            1           3            3
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             215            207          218         200          191
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             217            210          219         203          194
                                                                                            
 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                      
                                        Prior Week    Current Week  Next Week   This Week    Five-Year
                                                                                Last Year   Average For
                                                                                               Month
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production              88.5           88.1         88.2        92.3         79.1
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.8            6.7          7.0         8.1          8.0
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.2
 Total U.S. Supply                         95.3           94.9         95.2       100.4         87.3
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.3            2.1          2.1         3.0          2.2
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    5.7            5.8          5.8         4.8          4.4
 U.S. LNG Exports                          3.2            3.9          4.6         4.3          2.0
 U.S. Commercial                           4.4            4.4          4.4         4.4          4.5
 U.S. Residential                          3.5            3.6          3.6         3.5          3.3
 U.S. Power Plant                          44.7           40.8         42.0        43.6         36.6
 U.S. Industrial                           21.4           21.4         21.5        21.4         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.4            4.4          4.4         4.3          4.3
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    2.1            2.0          2.1         2.0          2.0
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                    80.7           76.7         78.1        79.3         71.4
 Total U.S. Demand                         91.9           88.5         90.6        91.4         80.0 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                         
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                   2.23           2.07                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.58           1.79                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             2.70           2.69                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.42           1.56                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           1.95           1.92                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.55           1.81                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           2.18           2.15                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 1.13           1.51 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                       
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             26.50          27.75                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                24.50          22.50                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             22.00          22.00                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                    9.93          21.13                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              23.25          25.50                              
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   23.50          25.50                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
  
 
 
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