EIA-Short-Term Energy Outlook- Natural Gas
EIA estimates that the U.S. total working gas inventories were 3,616 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the end of November. This level was about equal to the five-year (2014–18) average and 19% higher than a year ago. EIA expects storage withdrawals to total 1.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) from the end of October to the end of March, which is less than the five-year average winter withdrawal. A withdrawal of this amount would leave the end-of-March inventories at almost 1.9 Tcf, which would be 8% higher than the five-year (2015–19) average.
The U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $2.64 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in November, up 31 cents/MMBtu from October. Prices increased as a result of November temperatures that were colder than the 10-year (2009–18) average.
EIA forecasts the Henry Hub spot price to average $2.45/MMBtu in 2020, down 14 cents/MMBtu from the 2019 average.
EIA forecasts that annual U.S. dry natural gas production will average 92.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, up 10% from 2018. Low prices in the third quarter of 2019 will reduce natural gas-directed drilling in the first half of 2020. EIA forecasts natural gas production in 2020 will average 95.1 Bcf/d.
EIA expects that natural gas production will grow much less in 2020 because of the lag between changes in price and changes in future drilling activity.
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