Natural gas fundamentals remain weak

October 28, 2015 11:26 AM

The short term weather forecasts have not changed with the eastern two thirds of the United States expecting above normal temperatures into the second week of November while the west coast is projected to experience bouts of colder than normal temperatures over the same timeframe.

This week the EIA will be releasing their weekly Nat Gas report on its regular schedule on Thursday at10:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). This week I am projecting the 25th injection of the season after an injection level that was below the expected inventory build during the previous week. The projected net injection of about 68 BCF will be less than the injection level compared to last year and compared to the five year average for the same week.

My projection for this week is shown in the following table and is based on a week that experienced a mixed temperature profile over major parts of the US. The inventory year over year surplus will narrow while the current projected surplus versus the five-year average will also narrow if the actual injection is in sync with my model projection.

This week's projected 68 BCF net injection will be bullish when compared to the historical data. If the actual EIA data is in line with my projections the year over year surplus will narrow to around 414 BCF. The surplus versus the five year average for the same week will narrow to around 159 BCF. Last year there was a net injection of 88 BCF while the five year average showed a 73 BCF injection for the same week.

Oil prices are modestly higher ahead of this morning’s EIA oil inventory snapshot. The market has declined steadily since hitting a short term peak on Oct 9 as the spot Dec WTI contract remains in a new lower technical trading range with the next major support area the low hit in the third week in August. Last night’s API report showed another strong build in crude oil even as refinery run rates and refiner crude oil demand increased.

Nothing has changed with OPEC/Saudi Arabia still signaling that they will stay firm on their market share strategy coming into the Dec 4 OPEC meeting. In addition the majority of the global economic data that has been hitting the media airwaves suggests that global oil demand growth is not going to be robust enough going forward to solve the oversupply situation. The global oil glut is likely to remain the main market feature well into 2016 and probably into early 2017 unless Saudi Arabia changes its strategy and moves OPEC back to being the swing producing region of the world.

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