Friday, December 28, 2012

Natural Gas Trades Up on Expected Storage Withdrawal, Nuke Outages

The pull was 72 Bcf, in line with Bloomberg's poll. I didn't see Platts' but yesterday we were hearing 74, down from 76.
Nuke outages continue to support the price but that will change as early as next month. As I said last week:
...Nuclear outages have declined dramatically from over 30,000 MW at the end of October to 11,900 currently, still above the 5-year but if you remember the Platts story of three weeks ago quite a few operators were/are doing their refueling over the Dec-Jan period rather than the spring shoulder which means the nukes will be cooking during the Feb-Apr time-frame....
Outages are at 10,300 MW which is 40% above the five year average.
The new front futures are up 6 cents at $3.48 and not looking especially exuberant.
From the EIA:

Released: December 28, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. (eastern time) for the Week Ending December 21, 2012.
Next Release: January 4, 2013

Working Gas in Underground Storage, Lower 48
Region Stocks in billion cubic feet (Bcf) Historical Comparisons
12/21/12 12/14/12 Change Year Ago (12/21/11) 5-Year (2007-2011) Average
Stocks (Bcf) % Change Stocks (Bcf) % Change

Working gas in storage was 3,652 Bcf as of Friday, December 21, 2012, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 72 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 81 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 413 Bcf above the 5-year average of 3,239 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 129 Bcf above the 5-year average following net withdrawals of 42 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 203 Bcf above the 5-year average of 1,046 Bcf after a net withdrawal of 12 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 81 Bcf above the 5-year average after a net drawdown of 18 Bcf. At 3,652 Bcf, total working gas is above the 5-year historical range.

Working gas stocks in the Producing Region, for the week ending December 21, 2012, totaled 1,249 Bcf, with 310 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and 939 Bcf in nonsalt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks decreased 2 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and decreased 10 in the nonsalt cavern facilities since December 14. An historical series of the salt and nonsalt subtotals of the Producing Region is available for download at: wngsr_producing_region_salt.xls.