U.S. natgas slips to 3-week low on cooler forecasts ahead of storage report
U.S. natural gas futures slipped to a three-week low on forecasts for cooler weather and less air conditioning demand next week than previously expected. That price decline came despite a continued increase in liquefied natural gas exports and record sales to Mexico. It also came ahead of a federal report expected to show a near-normal storage build last week.
Analysts said U.S. utilities injected 68 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage in the week ended Sept. 4. That compares with an increase of 80 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19) average build of 68 bcf. If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 3.523 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 13.1% above the five-year average of 3.116 tcf for this time of year. Front-month gas futures fell 4.9 cents, or 2.0%, to $2.357 per million British thermal units by 8:17 a.m. EDT (1217 GMT).
Even though the weather is expected to turn cooler in mid-September, Refinitiv projected U.S. demand would rise to an average of 85.4 bcfd next week, from 84.0 bcfd this week, due to an increase in exports. That forecast for next week, however, is lower than Refinitiv's projection on Wednesday.
The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export terminals was on track to rise for a second month in a row for the first time since February to 4.4 bcfd in September as Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana ramps up after shutting in late August for Hurricane Laura. Coronavirus demand destruction caused U.S. LNG exports to drop every month from March to July when flows to plants fell to a 21-month low of 3.3 bcfd as buyers canceled cargoes. Flows to LNG export terminals hit a record 8.7 bcfd in February.
The quest for plant availability: Achieving improved compressor reliability and efficiency in downstream operations
Plants in the downstream industry require a great degree of operational availability, equipment reliability and efficiency: These factors are crucial for end users, as thousands of complex and intricate processes are operating in parallel – many of them are driven and safeguarded by compression technologies.
Uniformly, reliability is a universal maxim, and this holds particularly true for handling and compressing challenging gases processed in such plants. In fact, there is a direct, vital link between the reliability of compressor equipment designed for and used in these processes and the availability of the plant.
With a focus on different chemical/petrochemical, syngas and LNG applications our speaker Ulrich Schmitz will introduce to the listeners how centrifugal compression technologies such as integrally geared can be designed and employed reliably to perform the key process challenges of the industry, while also contributing to an efficient operation.
September 24, 2020 10:00 AM CDT