SoCal Gas released a critical notice late Thursday regarding an update to the Storage Safety Enhancement Plan that will affect operational capabilities of the three other fields other than Aliso Canyon. Starting March 1, and through the majority of the month, SoCal Gas will be performing remediation work to enhance system requirements, similar to the SB 380 mandates on Aliso Canyon, that will require tubing-only flow rates for both injections and withdrawals. SoCal Gas's original system injection capacity was 850 MMcf/d, of which Aliso Canyon held 413 MMcf/d, indicating the remaining three fields amounted to 437 MMcf/d. In total, the first week of March will see the remaining three fields injection capacity reduced by 140 MMcf/d (32%) and just 40 MMcf/d (9%) the week of March 15. The first week of March will see an average injection capacity of just 287 MMcf/d -- which is above the seven days of injections last March.
US dry gas production rebounded to an average of 71.2 Bcf/d for the EIA storage week ending February 23, up 0.76 Bcf/d in spite of warmer weather eroding US demand - excluding exports - by nearly 12 Bcf/d. The Louisiana Gulf Coast and Haynesville areas added nearly 0.4 Bcf/d of production while the Rockies region built by 0.13 Bcf/d.Imports from Canada helped balance the US supply-demand balance by falling 0.94 Bcf/d week-over-week to an average of 4.6 Bcf/d over the past seven days; East Canada meters Iroquois at Waddington and Maritimes & Northeast at Bailyville and Brunswick made up 78% of the decline. Furthermore, LNG imports shed 0.25 Bcf/d (36%) to 0.46 Bcf/d over the past week, primarily from the Everett import facility. US population-weighted temperatures increased 7.65 degrees Fahrenheit week-over-week to just below 54 degrees F, destroying rescomm demand by 10.4 Bcf/d. However, over the course of the next week, average daily temps are forecast to slide by nearly 10 degrees F from 55.7 degrees F Thursday, February 23 down to 46.9 degrees F Thursday, March 2. Cooler national temperatures are expected to lift rescomm demand by roughly 10 Bcf/d, causing US demand to build back to 73.1 Bcf/d on average, over the next week.
While total rigs in the Northeast reached 62 rigs the week ending February 10, the highest rig count since November 2015, they dropped back down to 59 for the last reporting week ending February 17. While this is roughly 20 more rigs than during the same time last year, well inventories have been slowly drawing down in the region over the last year, helping to keep up production. It is estimated an uptick in rigs from current levels is needed to keep production flat and growing once the well inventory is completely depleted. Of the total rigs in the Northeast currently, EQT Energy holds the most with 4 in West Virginia Dry, and another 2 in South PA Dry for a total of 6, followed by Antero, Gulfport, Rice, and SNW Production who each hold 5 in the region. Producer guidance for 2017 released thus far suggests continued drilling and growth in the region is expected for the coming year. Total production for February has averaged almost exactly flat to that of January at 23.5 Bcf/d, keeping steady despite lower demand and dropping prices. Forecasts have Northeast production in March averaging roughly level to current volumes at 23.4 Bcf/d.