Platts Pre-report Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data will Show a Drawdown Natural Gas Stocks of 139 Bcf to 143 Bcf

Washington - December 4, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a natural gas storage withdrawal between 139 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and 143 Bcf for the week ended November 29, according to a Platts survey of analysts.

A number within that range would be much larger than the 62-Bcf withdrawal reported for the same week of 2012 and the five-year-average pull of 41 Bcf, according to EIA data. As a result, the 100-Bcf deficit to last year should expand, while the 17-Bcf surplus to the five-year average should flip to a deficit.

Beyond the consensus, the wider range of analysts’ expectations spanned from withdrawals of 130 to 154 Bcf.

Bentek Energy's supply/demand model predicts a 145-Bcf draw for the week, while its pipeline flow model forecasts a 154-Bcf draw. Bentek is the natural gas and oil analytics unit of Platts, acquired in 2011.

First Enercast Financial Analyst Ben Smith said weather the week ended November 29 was "significantly colder" than the week prior and well below normal for this time of year, which created a run on storage gas.

Smith saw an increase in residential, commercial and industrial demand of about 115 Bcf from the previous week and an uptick in power-generation demand of 25 Bcf. Offsetting that slightly was the Thanksgiving holiday, which cut demand by about 12 Bcf.

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