Natural Gas Daily
US gas in storage may hit record 4.2 Tcf by end of October

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Despite the US power sector's increased appetite for natural gas, the amount of gas in storage could reach a record 4.2 Tcf when the traditional injection season ends October 31, a Bentek Energy analyst said Wednesday.

Gavin Roberts said storage inventories could be about 515 Bcf above the five-year average by Halloween.

Still, Bentek expects the surplus over the five-year average to narrow over the summer after reaching 927 Bcf as of March 31, largely because of an unusually mild winter, Roberts said in a webinar. Bentek is a unit of Platts

"Bentek thinks this trend will continue," Roberts said. "We will continue to take away from the surplus to the five-year average." As of June 15, that surplus stood at 641 Bcf with total inventories just over 3 Tcf.

Low gas prices have led to strong power demand as power generators switched from coal to gas, which in turn has put the brakes on storage injections, Roberts explained.

Power burn averaged 25 Bcf/d from April 1 to June 15 this year, up 25% from 20 Bcf/d recorded a year earlier. As a result, storage injections over the period dropped 22% to 7 Bcf/d from 9 Bcf/d, according to Roberts.

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