Once again, natural gas futures are trading relatively flat this morning with the December contract up $0.01/MMBtu and the January contract basically completely flat.
Prior to the storage release, the market appeared to be trending slightly to the downside and, similar to weeks previous, was looking for a signal from the EIA’s publication on a concrete way to move.
The EIA reported a 7 Bcf withdrawal from working gas storage and the market rallied a little over $0.08/MMBtu in response.
Stocks are now 251 Bcf (7%) higher than last year at this time and 249 Bcf (7%) above the five-year average.
Analysts consensus was around a 2-3 Bcf injection, though the ranges were anywhere from -7 Bcf to +13 Bcf.
Freeport LNG is awaiting approval from the US FERC to resume service at its second LNG loading dock in Texas. The return to service is contingent on the successful and safe completion of Loop 2 cooldown and re-inventorying.
The resumption of service at the second dock is expected to enhance operational flexibility, but may not necessarily lead to increased terminal utilization.
Freeport is already running close to full capacity, receiving over 2 Bcf/D in feedgas nominations which represents over a 90% utilization rate for the terminal.
The terminal’s three trains are in service, and Freeport is also seeking regulatory approval to return its third LNG storage tank to operation.
Source: Gelber and Associates