Difficult summer for gas refills...
The U.S. natural gas market is now on the cusp of the third and final phase of this year’s refill-season. After this weekend’s holiday, injections into underground storage will begin to ramp up from the summer doldrums of Phase 2. In this vein, there is plenty of room left in storage to stuff molecules into the ground through October.
The U.S. natural gas refill-season can be broken down into three distinct phases. In the first phase of the season, which generally begins in earnest four weeks prior to the U.S. Memorial Day holiday (early May) and lasts through the 04th of July holiday, is when we see the largest injections of the season. Since the start of the decade injections up through June averaged 10.7 ±0.4 Bcf/d.
Injections this year averaged 11.9 Bcf/d or 10.9% above the average of the previous nine seasons. As a result, the overall surplus at the end of June was 21½% or 485 Bcf… and that was despite enduring the 8th warmest June in the U.S. on record. Thus, as we approached the dog-days of summer or Phase 2, supplies were in good shape… fortunately.