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US natgas fall 3% on record output, low flows to LNG export plants



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Adds latest prices

May 31 (Reuters) -U.S. natural gas futures fell about 3% on Wednesday on record U.S. output, a decline in gas flows to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants due to maintenance and rising exports from Canada after wildfires caused some energy firms to shut in production earlier in the month.

That price decline came despiteforecasts for warmer than normal weather in mid-Junethat willboost air conditioning demand.

Front-month gas futures NGc1 for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 6.1 cents, or 2.6%, to settle at $2.266 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).

For the month,the contract fellabout 6% in May after gaining about 9% in April.

Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the U.S. Lower 48 states rose to 101.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in May, which would top April's monthly record of 101.4 bcfd.

The amount of gas flowing from Canada to the U.S. was on track to jump to a 10-week high of 8.54 bcfd on Wednesday from 7.81 bcfd on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv.

So far this month, Canadian exports have dropped from 8.52 bcfd on May 4 to a 25-month low of 6.41 bcfd on May 17 as wildfires in Alberta caused energy firms to cut oil and gas production. Canadian exports rose to 8.12 bcfd on May 23 after firefighters made significant progress controlling the blazes.

That compares with average Canada-to-U.S. exports of 8.3 bcfd since the start of the year and 9.0 bcfd in 2022. About 8% of the gas consumed in, or exported from, the U.S. comes from Canada.

Meteorologists projected the weather in the Lower 48 states would remain mostly near normal from May 31-June 10 before turning warmer than normal from June 11-15.

Refinitiv forecast U.S. gas demand, including exports, would rise from 89.5 bcfd this week to 92.7 bcfd next week as the weather turns seasonally warmer. Those forecasts were similar to Refinitiv's forecast on Tuesday.

Gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants fell from a record 14.0 bcfd in April to an average of 13.0 bcfd so far in May due to maintenance work at several plants.

Last month's record flows were higher than the 13.8 bcfd of gas the seven big plants can turn into LNG since the facilities also use some of the fuel to power equipment used to produce LNG.


GLOBAL GAS PRICE COLLAPSE

Some analysts have questioned whether this year's gas price collapse in Europe and Asia could force U.S. exporters to cancel LNG cargoes this summer after mostly mild weather over the winter left massive amounts of gas in storage. In 2020, at least 175 LNG shipments were canceled due to weak demand.

But for now, most analysts say energy security concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 should keep global gas prices high enough to sustain record U.S. LNG exports in 2023.

Gas was trading near a 25-month low of around $8 per mmBtu at the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) benchmark in Europe TRNLTTFMc1 and near a 24-month low of $9 at the Japan Korea Marker (JKM) in Asia JKMc1. That put TTF down about 65% and JKM down about 68% so far this year. NG/EU

U.S. gas futures, which were down about 48% so far this year, lag far behind global prices because the United States is the world's top producer with all the fuel it needs for domestic use, while capacity constraints prevent the country from exporting more LNG.

Week ended May 26 (Forecast)

Week ended May 19 (Actual)

Year ago May 26

Five-year average May 26

U.S. weekly natgas storage change (bcf):

106

96

82

101

U.S. total natgas in storage (bcf):

2,442

2,336

1,889

2,097

U.S. total storage versus 5-year average

16.5%

17.0%

Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)

Current Day

Prior Day

This Month Last Year

Prior Year Average 2022

Five Year Average (2018-2022)

Henry Hub NGc1

2.30

2.33

8.16

6.54

3.60

Title Transfer Facility (TTF) TRNLTTFMc1

8.11

7.74

28.96

40.50

14.39

Japan Korea Marker (JKM) JKMc1

9.37

9.24

22.70

34.11

14.31

Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days

Two-Week Total Forecast

Current Day

Prior Day

Prior Year

10-Year Norm

30-Year Norm

U.S. GFS HDDs

12

12

14

24

25

U.S. GFS CDDs

139

137

132

145

130

U.S. GFS TDDs

149

149

146

169

152

Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts

Prior Week

Current Week

Next Week

This Week Last Year

Five-Year Average For Month

U.S. Supply (bcfd)

U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production

101.7

102.4

102.5

97.3

89.1

U.S. Imports from Canada

6.4

6.6

6.7

8.2

7.7

U.S. LNG Imports

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

Total U.S. Supply

108.2

109.0

109.3

105.5

96.9

U.S. Demand (bcfd)

U.S. Exports to Canada

2.3

2.5

2.5

2.7

2.3

U.S. Exports to Mexico

5.7

5.9

5.4

6.0

5.2

U.S. LNG Exports

12.8

13.4

13.6

12.8

7.0

U.S. Commercial

4.9

4.5

4.5

4.6

5.7

U.S. Residential

4.5

3.9

3.8

4.0

6.7

U.S. Power Plant

32.2

31.1

34.5

31.0

27.5

U.S. Industrial

21.3

21.2

21.2

20.7

21.3

U.S. Plant Fuel

5.0

5.1

5.1

5.1

5.0

U.S. Pipe Distribution

1.9

1.8

1.9

1.8

2.1

U.S. Vehicle Fuel

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Total U.S. Consumption

70.0

67.7

71.1

67.3

68.4

Total U.S. Demand

90.8

89.5

92.7

88.8

82.9

U.S. weekly power generation percent by fuel - EIA

Week ended Jun 2

Week ended May 26

Week ended May 19

Week ended May 12

Week ended May 5

Wind

11

9

8

12

13

Solar

5

5

4

5

5

Hydro

9

9

9

9

8

Other

2

2

2

2

2

Petroleum

0

0

0

0

0

Natural Gas

37

40

42

40

39

Coal

13

15

15

14

13

Nuclear

22

20

19

19

19

SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)

Hub

Current Day

Prior Day

Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL

2.11

1.88

Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL

1.50

1.25

PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL

3.15

2.89

Eastern Gas (old Dominion South) NG-PCN-APP-SNL

1.39

1.25

Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL

1.90

1.62

Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL

1.73

1.27

SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL

2.47

1.60

Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL

1.98

1.89

AECO NG-ASH-ALB-SNL

1.43

1.38

SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)

Hub

Current Day

Prior Day

New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL

28.00

20.50

PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL

40.75

20.75

Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL

20.75

36.50

Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL

19.75

14.13

Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL

12.50

14.25

SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL

13.25

16.00



Reporting by Scott DiSavino, Editing by Nick Zieminski and Deepa Babington

For Refinitiv type ENERGY in nEiko search bar and then go to the GAS drop down and the NORTH AMERICA drop down or see: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageid=usages

For Interactive Map, type 'Interactive Map' in the box at upper left of the Reuters nEiko terminal

For graphics on Baker Hughes rig counts, see: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/15/rigcount/index.html

For next-day SOL U.S. gas prices, see: 0#SNL-NG

For next-day SOL U.S. power prices, see: 0#SNL-PWR

For U.S. natgas price and storage polls, see: NGAS/POLL

For U.S. nuclear power outages, see: NUKE/

For U.S. Northwest hydro power report, see: NWRFC

For U.S./Canada natural gas rig count vs Henry Hub futures price, see: http://tmsnrt.rs/2eT9k44

For the U.S. natural gas speed guide, see: USGS

For the U.S. power speed guide, see: EMPOWER

To determine CFTC managed money net position add (NYMEX Henry Hub options and futures combined 3023651MNET) plus (ICE Henry Hub options and futures combined 3023391MNET divided by four) plus (NYMEX Henry Hub swaps options and futures combined 303565BMNET divided by four) plus (NYMEX Henry Hub penultimate gas swaps 303565CMNET divided by four)

NYMEX Henry Hub options and futures combined 0#3CFTC023651

NYMEX Henry Hub futures only 0#1CFTC023651

ICE Henry Hub options and futures combined 0#3CFTC023391

NYMEX Henry Hub swaps options and futures combined 0#3CFTC03565B

NYMEX Henry Hub Penultimate gas swaps 0#3CFTC03565C
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