Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $3.250 per MMBtu, up $0.008 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $3.315 and $2.872 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 81 Bcf for the week ending October 12, compared to a five-year average increase of 79 Bcf and a year-ago build of 5 Bcf. At 3,037 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 605 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 601 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production decreased to 85.5 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending October 17, down 0.1 Bcf per day from the previous week but 11.0 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 25.4 Bcf per day compared to 26.8 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were up from the previous week, led by an increase of 0.5 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 20.8% above average for the week ending October 19. The latest 6-10 day weather outlook includes below-normal temperatures on the eastern half of the U.S.