U.S. utilities likely added a larger-than-usual 58 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas to storage last week, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
That injection for the week ending Aug. 26 compares with a build of 21 bcf during the same week a year ago and a five-year (2017-2021) average injection of 46 bcf.
In the week ended Aug. 19, utilities added 60 bcf of gas to storage.
The forecast for the week ended Aug. 26 would lift stockpiles to 2.637 trillion cubic feet (tcf), about 11.5% below the five-year average and 8.1% below the same week a year ago.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday.
The projected build would come despite the relatively warmer conditions that boost demand for the fuel to keep air conditioners humming, with around 85 cooling degree days (CDDs) recorded last week as per Refinitiv data. This was more than the 30-year normal of 79 CDDs for the period. CDDs, used to estimate demand to cool homes and businesses, measure the number of degrees a day’s average temperature is above 65 Fahrenheit (18 Celsius).
But that was likely offset by an extension of an outage at the Freeport LNG Texas export hub, which consumed about 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas before it shut on June 8. This would translate into more gas being available domestically.
Reuters polled 15 analysts, whose estimates ranged from injections of 64 bcf to 53 bcf, with a median forecast of 57 bcf.
Early estimates for the week ending Sept. 2 ranged from injections of 59 bcf to 46 bcf, with a mean increase of 52 bcf.
That compares with an injection of 48 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year average of 65 bcf.
(Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)