Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.853 per MMBtu, up $0.031 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.903 and $2.756 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 35 Bcf for the week ending July 27, compared to a five-year average increase of 43 Bcf and a year-ago build of 18 Bcf. At 2,308 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 565 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 688 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 81.1 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending August 1, up 0.1 Bcf per day from the previous week and 7.7 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 35.4 Bcf per day compared to 34.4 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 0.3 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 4.2% below average for the week ending August 3. The latest 6-10 day outlook includes above-normal temperatures in northern U.S. markets, but mild weather in Texas and the Southeast.