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US Natural Gas Consumption Could Hit a Record in 2018 and 2019

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Weekly US natural gas consumption 

US natural gas consumption fell 14.4% to 102.6 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day on January 4–10, 2018, according to PointLogic. Consumption also fell by 3.6 Bcf per day or 3.3% year-over-year. Any fall in natural gas consumption is bearish for natural gas (UNG) prices.

Reuters estimates that US natural gas consumption will increase next week due to cold weather. Any rise in consumption is bullish for natural gas (UGAZ) (FCG) prices.

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US natural gas consumption estimates

US natural gas consumption averaged 75.10 Bcf per day in 2016 and 74.04 Bcf per day in 2017. The EIA released its monthly STEO (Short-Term Energy Outlook) report on January 9, 2018. It estimates that US natural gas consumption could average ~77.53 Bcf per day in 2018, which is 0.9% higher than the December 2017 estimates. Consumption is expected to average ~79.72 Bcf per day in 2019. US natural gas consumption could hit a record in 2018 and 2019.

Drivers of US natural gas consumption 

Higher natural gas consumption from the residential and commercial sector and the industrial sector would impact the overall consumption.

Higher consumption is bullish for natural gas (DGAZ) (BOIL) prices. Higher natural gas (UNG) prices benefit energy producers’ (FENY) (IYE) earnings like WPX Energy (WPX), EXCO Resources (XCO), Southwestern Energy (SWN), and Ultra Petroleum (UPL).

Impact 

Record production could exceed record consumption in 2018 and 2019. It would pressure natural gas (GASL) prices. However, a rise in exports could limit the impact of excess supply.

Next, we’ll discuss some natural gas price forecasts.

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