U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
U.S. Natural Gas Consumption
EIA expects that natural gas consumption, which averaged 69.7 Bcf/d in 2012, will average 70.0 Bcf/d and 69.6 Bcf/d in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Colder winter temperatures forecast for 2013 and 2014 (compared with the record-warm temperatures in 2012) are expected to increase the amount of natural gas used for residential and commercial space heating. However, the projected year-over-year increases in natural gas prices contribute to declines in natural gas used for electric power generation from 25.0 Bcf/d in 2012 to 22.5 Bcf/d in 2013 and 22.1 Bcf/d in 2014, although these forecast levels are still high by historical standards.
U.S. Natural Gas Production and Trade
Natural gas marketed production is projected to increase from 69.2 Bcf/d in 2012 to 70.0 Bcf/d in 2013, and to 70.4 Bcf/d in 2014. Onshore production increases over the forecast period, while federal Gulf of Mexico production declines. Natural gas pipeline gross imports, which have fallen over the past five years, are projected to remain near their 2012 level over the forecast. LNG imports are expected to remain at minimal levels of around 0.4 Bcf/d in both 2013 and 2014.
Mexico's domestic natural gas consumption is rising faster than domestic production, leading to both record pipeline gas imports from the United States and growth in the country's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas trade between Mexico and the United States has been growing; daily net exports from the United States to Mexico so far in 2013 (January 1-May 6) are estimated to average 1.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), up almost 29 percent over the same period in 2012.
The NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicts that the Atlantic Basin likely will experience above-normal tropical weather activity during the current hurricane season. EIA estimates that the median outcome for shut-in natural gas production in the federally administered Gulf of Mexico as a result of disruptions during the 2013 hurricane season is 46 Bcf (see the 2013 Outlook for Hurricane-Related Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico). EIA's simulation results indicate a 58-percent probability of offshore natural gas production experiencing outages during the current hurricane season that are equal to or larger than the 32 Bcf of production shut in during the 2012 hurricane season.
U.S. Natural Gas Inventories
As of May 31, 2013, working gas stocks totaled 2,252 Bcf, which is 616 Bcf less than at the same time last year, but only 69 Bcf below the five-year (2008-12) average for the end of May. EIA projects working gas stocks at the end of this summer's stock-build season (end of October) will reach 3,813 Bcf, about 117 Bcf below the level at the same time last year.
U.S. Natural Gas Prices
Natural gas spot prices averaged $4.04 per MMBtu at the Henry Hub in May 2013, down 13 cents from the $4.17-per-MMBtu average seen the previous month. EIA expects the Henry Hub price will increase from an average of $2.75 per MMBtu in 2012 to $3.92 per MMBtu in 2013 and $4.10 per MMBtu in 2014.
Natural gas futures prices for September 2013 delivery (for the five-day period ending June 6, 2013) averaged $3.97 per MMBtu. Current options and futures prices imply that market participants place the lower and upper bounds for the 95-percent confidence interval for September 2013 contracts at $3.03 per MMBtu and $5.21 per MMBtu, respectively. At this time a year ago, the natural gas futures contract for September 2012 averaged $2.48 per MMBtu and the corresponding lower and upper limits of the 95-percent confidence interval were $1.51 per MMBtu and $4.07 per MMBtu.
|U.S. Natural Gas Summary|
|2011||2012||2013 projected||2014 projected|
|Prices||(dollars per thousand cubic feet)|
|Henry Hub Spot||4.12||2.83||4.04||4.23|
|Supply||(billion cubic feet per day)|
|Dry Gas Production||62.74||65.75||66.48||66.82|
|Consumption||(billion cubic feet per day)|
|Electric Power Sector||20.75||24.96||22.49||22.05|
|Primary Assumptions||(percent change from previous year)|
|Heating Degree Days||-3.4||-12.4||15.6||-2.6|
|Cooling Degree Days||2.0||0.7||-10.8||0.4|
|Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production||0.3||1.2||2.4||3.3|
Interactive Data Viewers
|Today In Energy||Daily|
|Natural Gas Weekly Update||Weekly|
|Peak Underground Working Storage Capacity||Annual|
|2013 Outlook for Gulf of Mexico Hurricane-Related Production Outages||Jun-2013|
|Constraints in New England likely to affect regional energy prices this winter||Jan-2013|
|2012-2013 Winter Fuels Outlook Slideshow||Oct-2012|
|Change in STEO Regional and U.S. Degree Day Calculations||Sep-2012|
|2012 Outlook for Hurricane-Related Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico||Jun-2012|
|Changes in Natural Gas Monthly Consumption Data Collection and the Short-Term Energy Outlook||Dec-2010|
|Trends in U.S. Residential Natural Gas Consumption||23-Jun-2010|
|Probabilities of Possible Future Prices||Apr-2010|
|Energy Price Volatility and Forecast Uncertainty||Oct-2009|
|The Implications of Lower Natural Gas Prices for Electric Generators in the Southeast||May-2009|