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Natural gas: Short term energy outlook

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

  • Working gas in storage ended this year’s heating season at an estimated 1471 billion ft3 on March 31.
  • Looking ahead to October, EIA projects inventories will end the injection season at 3781 billion ft3, which is slightly below the five year average.
  • The above level implies overall injections of 2310 billion ft3 over the injection season.


  • EIA projects that US total natural gas consumption will average 76.3 billion ft3/d in 2015 and 75.8 billion ft3/d in 2016.
  • Consumption growth is largely driven by demand in the industrial and electric power sectors, while residential and commercial consumption are projected to decline in 2015 and 2016.
  • Industrial sector consumption increases by 4/9% and 2.5% in 2015 and 2016.

Production and trade

  • EIA expects that marketed natural gas production will increase by 5% and 1.9% in 2015 and 2016.
  • EIA expects that increases in drilling efficiency and growth in oil production will continue to support growing natural gas production.
  • Increases in domestic natural gas production are expected to reduce demand for natural gas imports from Canada and to support growth in exports to Mexico.
  • LNG imports have fallen over the past five years because higher prices in Europe and Asia are more attractive to LNG exporters than the relatively low prices in the US.
  • LNG gross imports average 0.2 billion ft3 in 2015 and 2016. EIA projects that LNG gross exports will increase from an average of 0.04 billion ft3/d in 2014 to over 0.79 billion ft3/d in 2016.


  • On March 27, natural gas working inventories totalled 1461 billion ft3.
  • A 12 billion ft3 injection for the week ending March 20 was the first net injection of 2015. EIA projects that end of October 2015 inventories will total 3781 billion ft3 less than the five year average.

Edited from report by Claira Lloyd

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