Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.695 per MMBtu, up $0.070 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.808 and $2.784 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 78 Bcf for the week ending February 23, compared to a five-year average decline of 117 Bcf and a year-ago draw of 7 Bcf. At 1,682 Bcf, total inventories are currently 372 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 680 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 78.5 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending February 28, up 0.5 Bcf per day for the previous week and 7.4 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The residential & commercial sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 29.3 Bcf per day compared to 26.3 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes increased from the previous week, led by gains of 1.2 Bcf per day in the LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 37.2% below average for the week ending March 2. The 6-10 weather outlook is mostly seasonal in key gas-consuming markets, with below-normal temperatures most prominent in the Southeast U.S.