Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.625 per MMBtu, up $0.067 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.752 per MMBtu and $2.783, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 124 Bcf for the week ending February 16, compared to a five-year average decline of 146 Bcf and a year-ago draw of 93 Bcf. At 1,760 Bcf, total inventories are currently 411 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 609 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production declined to 78.0 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending February 21, down 0.1 Bcf per day from the previous week and 7.5 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The residential & commercial sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 30.1 Bcf per day compared to 27.3 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes decreased from the previous week, led by a decline of 1.1 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 36.2% below average for the week ending February 23. The 6-10 day weather outlook is generally mild in key gas-consuming markets, with below-normal temperatures potentially building in the West.