Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data will Show an Addition to Natural Gas Stocks of 12 to 16 Billion Cubic Feet

Washington - March 25, 2015

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a natural gas storage injection between 12 and 16 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ended March 20, according to a Platts survey of analysts.

An injection within expectations would contrast with the 56-Bcf draw reported at this time last year and the 19-Bcf, five-year-average withdrawal, according to EIA data.

The wider range of analysts' expectations for this Thursday's report spanned a withdrawal of 7 Bcf to an injection of 60 Bcf.

Last week, the EIA reported a 45-Bcf withdrawal that reduced inventories to 1.467 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which was 507 Bcf, or 52.8%, above the year-ago inventory of 960 Tcf, but 225 Bcf, or 13.3%, below the five-year average of 1.692 Tcf.

Demand fell sharply and averaged just 69.3 Bcf per day, Bentek Energy* reported in its Weekly Storage Report. Heating load has diminished during the past two weeks as spring weather has taken hold, reported Bentek. The East region** is expected to have shown a double-digit withdrawal for the week, which would be more than offset by an injection in the Producing region, while the West region is expected to show a single-digit injection, Bentek reported.

The weekly analyst survey is conducted by Platts' editorial team, and is usually published every Wednesday morning, one day ahead of the 10:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday release of the weekly natural gas storage report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This week, that EIA report will be released at noon (ET) Wednesday, because of the Christmas holiday. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.

*Bentek Energy is an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, acquired in 2011.

**In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into three storage regions: East, West and Producing. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.

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