Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.916 per MMBtu, down $0.001 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.961 and $2.787 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 70 Bcf for the week ending August 24, compared to a five-year average increase of 59 Bcf and a year-ago build of 32 Bcf. At 2,505 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 588 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 646 behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 82.7 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending August 29, up 0.1 Bcf per day from the previous week and 12.2 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 30.7 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.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 10.8% above average for the week ending August 31. The latest 6-10 day outlook includes above-normal temperatures for most of the country, including key U.S. population centers.