US Weekly Energy Report - 7 September 2017

Market Commentary

The Atlantic Hurricane Season continues to dampen demand for electricity in eastern portions of the U.S. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which knocked out power to a number of market areas and drove down temperatures amid soaking rain and heavy winds, U.S. population-weighted cooling degree days (CDDs) were almost 22% below normal last week. With Hurricane Irma expected to hit Florida this weekend and move into additional Southeast markets early next week, power demand - as well as subsequent demand for gas-fired generation - will continue to be tempered.

Limited cooling demand and a glut of supplies following interruptions to LNG and pipeline exports in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey contributed to a build of 65 Bcf into U.S. natural gas storage inventories for the week ending September 1. The injection outpaced the five-year average for just the second time in the last 13 weeks, leaving total storage inventories less than 1% ahead of that benchmark.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released on Thursday its latest Petroleum Status Report, noting a sharp decline in oil refining and export volumes following Hurricane Harvey. U.S. refinery utilization fell to its lowest rate since 2010, declining 16.9% percentage points to 79.7%. Weekly crude oil exports fell by 749,000 barrels per day, reaching the lowest levels since the EIA began collecting and reporting that data.

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