The Energy Information Administration is out with its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. The report finds that "Natural gas working inventories were 3,193 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on August 28. This level was 18% higher than a year ago and 4% higher than the previous five-year average (2010-14) for this week."
EIA also looks at natural gas consumption, forecasting, "U.S. total natural gas consumption averages 76.5 Bcf/d in 2015 and 76.6 Bcf/d in 2016, compared with 73.5 Bcf/d in 2014. EIA projects natural gas consumption in the power sector to increase by 14.4% in 2015 and then decrease by 3.3% in 2016. Natural gas prices, which are expected to remain below $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) through November, support increased use of natural gas for electricity generation in 2015. Industrial sector consumption increases by 0.9% in 2015 and by 6.4% in 2016, as new industrial projects, particularly in the fertilizer and chemicals sectors, come online late this year and next year, and as industrial consumers continue to take advantage of low natural gas prices. Natural gas consumption in the residential and commercial sectors is projected to decline in both 2015 and 2016."
With respect to natural gas production and trade:
EIA expects that marketed natural gas production will increase by 4.2 Bcf/d (5.7%) and by 1.7 Bcf/d (2.2%) in 2015 and 2016, respectively. EIA expects moderate production growth through 2016, with increases in the Lower 48 states expected to more than offset continuing production declines in the Gulf of Mexico. Increases in drilling efficiency will continue to support growing natural gas production in the forecast despite relatively low natural gas prices. Most of the growth is expected to come from the Marcellus Shale as the backlog of uncompleted wells is reduced and as new pipelines come online to deliver Marcellus natural gas to markets in the Northeast.
Increases in domestic natural gas production are expected to reduce demand for natural gas imports from Canada and to support growth in exports to Mexico. Earlier this year, natural gas net imports fell to the lowest monthly level since 1987, averaging 2.3 Bcf/d in both May and June. EIA expects natural gas exports to Mexico, particularly from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, to increase because of growing demand from Mexico's electric power sector coupled with flat natural gas production in Mexico.
EIA projects liquefied natural gas (LNG) gross exports will increase to an average of 0.79 Bcf/d in 2016, with the startup of a major LNG liquefaction plant in the Lower 48 states.
For information on natural gas inventories and prices, as well as electricity and other fuels, see the full report at http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/index.cfm.