S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 49-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks

WASHINGTON - May 02, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 49-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week that ended April 27, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.

Responses to the survey ranged for a build of 45 Bcf to 57 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EST on Thursday.

A 49-Bcf-injection would be less than the 68-Bcf-build in the corresponding week last year which featured as well as the five-year average build of 69 Bcf. It would also mark the latest start to the injection season on record.

An injection within analysts’ expectations of 49 Bcf would increase stocks to 1.330 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The deficit versus the five-year average would stretch to 547 Bcf and the deficit versus last year in the corresponding week would expand to 916 Bcf.

The EIA reported an 18 Bcf net-withdrawal for the week ended April 20. It dropped inventories to 1.281 Tcf, which was 41.2% less than the year-ago inventory of 2.178 Tcf, and 29.1% less than the five-year average of 1.808 Tcf.

"The estimated build to inventories is high for the first injection of the season, but low for the end of April," said Kent Berthoud, storage analyst with S&P Global Platts. "As May begins, barring a surprisingly large injection announcement, it seems possible that the month of April as a whole will see a net draw on inventories."

Over the past five years, an average of 176 Bcf was added to underground storage in April.

An early estimate for the week ending May 4 indicates an injection of 82 Bcf, which is 7 Bcf more than the five-year average.

The weekly analyst survey is conducted by S&P Global Platts’ editorial team, and is published every Wednesday, 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. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.

**In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into five storage regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Mountain and Pacific. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.

Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@spglobal.com

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