The last week of October saw the first winter storms hit the Pacific Northwest, bringing snow and freezing temperatures from the Rockies eastward all the way to the northern Great Lakes region. Despite the seasonal drop in temperatures, natural gas stocks continued to climb, adding a further 79 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and rising to a seasonal high-water mark of 3,779 Bcf. 

Working gas storage is at a two-year high despite unexpectedly high demand for cooling (power generation) over the summer. As winter approaches, withdrawals will be more likely over the next five months. 

The winter gas outlook is significantly better this year vs 2022, considering the weather outlook and stocks going into the traditional peak demand period. El Niño is expected to bring warmer weather across the southern U.S. that should help keep heating demand in check. 

Likewise, underground storage is in much better shape this year, with the latest weekly number showing stocks up 8.4 percent YOY. The U.S. is on pace to set a record high for exports and European demand following the halt in pipeline exports after the Russian Nord Stream 1 incident. 

The full version of this commentary appeared on our IQ platform Nov. 3, 2023. Further information, statistics, and pricing for the energy market are available to IQ subscribers. Learn more about becoming a subscriber.

Posted by: Information Services
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