Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.584 per MMBtu, down $0.262 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.702 and $2.773 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 119 Bcf for the week ending February 2, compared to a five-year average decline of 151 Bcf and a year-ago draw of 143 Bcf. At 2.078 Bf, total inventories are currently 393 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 503 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 77.9 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending February 7, up 0.2 Bcf per day from the previous week and 7.1 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The residential & commercial sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 45.7 Bcf per day compared to 38.5 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes increased from the previous week, led by gains of 0.1 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 3.3% below average for the week ending February 9. The 6-10 day weather outlook projects mostly-mild temperatures in key gas-consuming markets, including an above-normal solution in the Northeast.