Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.917 per MMBtu, down $0.029 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.955 and $2.811 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 48 Bcf for the week ending August 17, compared to a five-year average increase of 52 Bcf and a year-ago build of 45 Bcf. At 2,435 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 599 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 684 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 82.6 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending August 22, up 0.6 Bcf per day from the previous week and 10.2 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 35.0 Bcf per day compared to 35.6 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were down from the previous week, led by a decline of 0.2 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.