U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
After a record injection season, the 162-Bcf storage withdrawal for the week ending November 21 tied the record set last year for the largest November withdrawal. The large withdrawal reflected unseasonably cold weather east of the Rocky Mountains. As a result, this month's STEO revises downward end-of-March 2015 inventories to 1,431 Bcf, based on NOAA expectations that temperatures for the rest of the winter will be close to normal. EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average $3.98/MMBtu this winter, close to last month's forecast.
Natural Gas Consumption
EIA expects total natural gas consumption to average 73.9 Bcf/d in 2014, an increase of 3.2% from 2013 and 1% higher than in last month's STEO. This upward revision largely reflects colder-than-forecast temperatures in November. In 2015, total natural gas consumption is expected to decline as lower residential and commercial consumption offset increases in the electric power and industrial sectors. Natural gas consumption in the power sector is expected to average 22.1 Bcf/d in 2014, a 0.8% decline compared to last year, reflecting higher natural gas prices this year. EIA expects natural gas consumption in the power sector to increase to 22.7 Bcf/d in 2015.
Natural Gas Production and Trade
EIA expects natural gas marketed production to grow by an annual rate of 5.5% in 2014 and 3.1% in 2015. EIA projects that the strong increases already seen in the Lower 48 states for most of this year will continue through 2015, more than offsetting the long-term trend of declining production in the Gulf of Mexico. As of September, the most recent month for which EIA data are available, dry natural gas production was 4.6 Bcf/d greater than it was in September 2013. Production usually declines in September due to seasonal maintenance; however, production this year increased slightly from August to September.
Growing domestic natural gas production is expected to reduce demand for imports from Canada and spur exports to Mexico. EIA expects exports to Mexico, particularly from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, to increase because of growing demand from Mexico's electric power sector and flat Mexican production.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have fallen over the past four years because higher prices in Europe and Asia are more attractive to LNG exporters than the relatively low prices in the United States. EIA projects that the United States will become a net LNG exporter when Cheniere's LNG liquefaction plant begins service.
Natural Gas Inventories
Natural gas working inventories totaled 3,410 Bcf as of November 28, which was 227 Bcf lower than at the same time last year and 372 Bcf lower than the previous five-year (2009-13) average. Following last year's extremely cold winter, inventories fell to about 1,000 Bcf below the five-year average in mid-April. After a strong injection season, inventories were 237 Bcf below the five-year average on November 7. EIA projects that end-of-March 2015 inventories will total 1,431 Bcf, which is 225 Bcf below the five-year (2010-14) average.
Natural Gas Prices
The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $4.12/MMBtu in November, an increase of 34 cents from October. EIA expects spot prices to remain above $4/MMBtu through January. Projected Henry Hub natural gas prices average $4.44/MMBtu in 2014 and $3.83/MMBtu in 2015.
Natural gas futures prices for March 2015 delivery (for the five-day period ending December 4) averaged $3.84/MMBtu. Current options and futures prices imply that market participants place the lower and upper bounds for the 95% confidence interval for March 2015 contracts at $2.40/MMBtu and $6.13/MMBtu, respectively. At this time last year, the natural gas futures contract for March 2014 averaged $3.98/MMBtu and the corresponding lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval were $3.01/MMBtu and $5.26/MMBtu.
|U.S. Natural Gas Summary|
|2012||2013||2014 projected||2015 projected|
|Prices||(dollars per thousand cubic feet)|
|Henry Hub Spot||2.83||3.84||4.58||3.94|
|Supply||(billion cubic feet per day)|
|Dry Gas Production||65.66||66.67||70.01||72.11|
|Consumption||(billion cubic feet per day)|
|Electric Power Sector||24.89||22.34||22.15||22.75|
|Primary Assumptions||(percent change from previous year)|
|Heating Degree Days||-12.5||18.5||3.8||-8.2|
|Cooling Degree Days||1.7||-12.7||-0.6||5.5|
|Natural-gas-weighted Industrial Production||2.2||1.8||1.8||2.3|
Interactive Data Viewers
|Table WF01. Average Consumer Prices and Expenditures for Heating Fuels During the Winter|
|Table 1. U.S. Energy Markets Summary|
|Table 2. U.S. Energy Prices|
|Table 5a. U.S. Natural Gas Supply, Consumption, and Inventories|
|Table 5b. U.S. Regional Natural Gas Prices|
|Table 8. U.S. Renewable Energy Consumption|
|Table 9a. U.S. Macroeconomic Indicators and CO2 Emissions|
|Table 9b. U.S. Regional Macroeconomic Data|
|Table 9c. U.S. Regional Weather Data|
|Today In Energy||Daily|
|Natural Gas Weekly Update||Weekly|
|Peak Underground Working Storage Capacity||Annual|
|2014-2015 Winter Fuels Outlook Slideshow||Oct-2014|
|Weather Sensitivity in Natural Gas Markets||Oct-2014|
|2014 Outlook for Gulf of Mexico Hurricane-Related Production Outages||Jun-2014|
|2014 Summer Fuels Outlook Slideshow||Apr-2014|
|Energy-weighted industrial production indices||Mar-2014|
|Constraints in New England likely to affect regional energy prices this winter||Jan-2013|
|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|