Platts Pre-report Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data will Show a Withdrawal from Natural Gas Stocks of 183 Bcf to 187 Bcf

Washington - Janaury 9, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a net withdrawal from natural gas storage between 183 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and 187 Bcf for the week ending January 4, according to a Platts survey of analysts.

A draw within that range would be larger than both the 95-Bcf pull in the same week a year ago the five-year-average of 149 Bcf. As a result, the 23-Bcf surplus in comparison to last year will likely change to a deficit, while the 389-Bcf surplus compared with the five-year average is expected to decrease.

Beyond the consensus, the wider range of analysts’ estimates spanned from withdrawals of 155 Bcf to 203 Bcf.

Eric Bickel, an analyst with Schneider Electric, noted that "a withdrawal at this level would bring us to the first year-over-year deficit since 2011.”

Citi Futures Perspective analyst Tim Evans said unseasonably cold weather caused demand for storage gas to spike last week, and that the expected withdrawal would even be higher if not for the New Year's holiday that was "a drag on industrial demand."

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