Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.946 per MMBtu, up $0.002 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.991 and $2.832 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 33 Bcf for the week ending August 10, compared to a five-year average increase of 56 Bcf and a year-ago build of 49 Bcf. At 2,387 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 595 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 687 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 82.0 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending August 15, up 0.5 Bcf per day from the previous week and 9.0 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 36.0 Bcf per day compared to 32.7 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were unchanged from the previous week, with gains in LNG sendout offset by losses in Mexican output.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 11.0% above average for the week ending August 17. Following a period of mild weather this week, the latest 6-10 day outlook includes a return to above-normal temperatures for much of the U.S.