US Natural Gas Inventories Beat Five-Year Average
Working natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 states totaled 3,519 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending Oct. 11, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). It’s the first week that Lower 48 states’ working gas inventories have surpassed the previous five-year average since Sept. 22, 2017.
Weekly injections in three of the past four weeks all were higher than 100 Bcf, or 27 percent more than usual injections for that time of year.
This week’s inventory level ends a 106-week streak of lower-than-normal natural gas inventories.
Inventories in the Lower 48 started the winter of 2017–18 lower than the previous average. Cold temperatures during the winter of 2017–18—including a cyclone—prompted record storage withdrawals, spiking the deficit to the five-year average.
In the subsequent refill season (usually April through October), warmer-than-normal temperatures grew electricity demand for natural gas. According to the EIA, increased demand slowed natural gas storage injection activity through the summer and fall of 2018. By Nov. 30, 2018, the deficit to the five-year average had ballooned to 725 Bcf.
According to the EIA, for this week in 2019, the preceding five-year average is 124 Bcf lower than it was for the same week last year. As a result, the gap has closed partially based on a lower five-year average.
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