Friday, August 28, 2020

Natural Gas Weekly Update

From the Energy Information Administration:
Prices rise in most demand hubs with storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico. This report week (Wednesday, August 19 to Wednesday, August 26), the Henry Hub spot price rose 15¢ from $2.36/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.51/MMBtu yesterday, after reaching a high of $2.52/MMBtu on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures across the Lower 48 states were generally warmer than normal, but cooler than normal on the Gulf Coast. At the Chicago Citygate, the price increased 10¢ from $2.23/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.33/MMBtu yesterday.

Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Southwestern Louisiana, affecting key natural gas infrastructure. Hurricane Laura made landfall early this morning as a strong Category 4 storm. Laura struck close to the Louisiana-Texas border, home to key U.S. energy infrastructure. According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), as of yesterday, BSEE estimates that approximately 61% of natural gas production and 84% percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in based on operator reports, resulting from the evacuation of nearly half of the manned platforms. According to Genscape, operational flow orders or force majeures have been issued on the ANR, Cameron, Columbia Gulf, Kinder Morgan Louisiana, and Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America systems. Cameron and Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals were completely offline as of early Thursday. These disruptions further reduced LNG feedstock, which averaged 4.3 Bcf/d, or 0.3 Bcf/d lower than last week, and fell to as low as 2.3 Bcf/d on Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Laura making landfall.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Energy Disruptions map shows storm-related geographic data (also referred to as map layers) from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service and EIA's map layers for energy-related infrastructure such as LNG export terminals, natural gas processing plants, natural gas pipelines, high-voltage transmission lines, and power plants.

California prices are mixed as the state continues to battle wildfires. The price at PG&E Citygate in Northern California rose 19¢, up from $3.31/MMBtu last Wednesday to a high of $3.50/MMBtu yesterday. The price at SoCal Citygate in Southern California decreased $1.54 from a high of $6.15/MMBtu last Wednesday to $4.61/MMBtu yesterday as temperatures began to moderate toward the end of the report week. As of yesterday, California continued to battle more than two dozen active wildfires. Natural gas stocks in the Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) system declined 0.7 Bcf over the report week and are down 4.6 Bcf compared to late July, when stocks were at their highest point of the summer.

Northeast prices rise. At the Algonquin Citygate, which serves Boston-area consumers, the price went up 21¢ from a low of $1.31/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.52/MMBtu yesterday as Boston-area temperatures were warmer than normal, approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit on multiple days during the report week. At the Transcontinental Pipeline Zone 6 trading point for New York City, the price increased 79¢ from a low of $1.19/MMBtu last Wednesday to a high of $1.98/MMBtu yesterday.
The Tennessee Zone 4 Marcellus spot price increased 15¢ from $1.07/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.22/MMBtu yesterday. The price at Dominion South in southwest Pennsylvania rose 22¢ from $1.14/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.36/MMBtu yesterday.

Permian Basin prices are down. The price at the Waha Hub in West Texas, which is located near Permian Basin production activities, averaged $1.65/MMBtu last Wednesday, 71¢/MMBtu lower than the Henry Hub price. Yesterday, the price at the Waha Hub averaged a low of $1.07/MMBtu, $1.44/MMBtu lower than the Henry Hub price.
Supply falls slightly. According to data from IHS Markit, the average total supply of natural gas fell by 0.5% compared with the previous report week. Dry natural gas production decreased by 1.0% compared with the previous report week amidst shut-in natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Average net imports from Canada increased by 10.3% from last week but remain a relatively small component of supply.

Demand rises, driven by increased power generation. Total U.S. consumption of natural gas rose by 0.8% compared with the previous report week, according to data from IHS Markit. Natural gas consumed for power generation climbed by 1.3% week over week. In the residential and commercial sectors, consumption increased by 0.8%. Industrial sector consumption decreased by 0.2% week over week. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased 8.0%.

U.S. LNG exports decrease week over week. Seven LNG vessels (two each from Sabine Pass and Cameron, and one each from Freeport, Corpus Christi, and Cove Point) with a combined LNG-carrying capacity of 26 Bcf departed the United States between August 20 and August 26, 2020, according to shipping data provided by Marine Traffic.

Two U.S. LNG liquefaction facilities—Sabine Pass and Cameron—are located in the direct path of Hurricane Laura. Both facilities have suspended operations and implemented a controlled shutdown, according to reporting by Bloomberg L.P....