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US Natural Gas Consumption Could Help Natural Gas Bulls

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Weekly US natural gas consumption 

According to PointLogic, US natural gas consumption fell 2% to 81.9 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day on January 25–31, 2018. US natural gas consumption also decreased 1.9% year-over-year. The decline in consumption is bearish for natural gas prices.

Reuters estimates that US natural gas consumption could rise next week. An increase in consumption is bullish for natural gas prices.

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Monthly natural gas consumption 

On January 31, 2018, the EIA released the monthly natural gas consumption data. The EIA reported that US natural gas consumption rose ~16% to 78.4 Bcf per day in November 2017—compared to the previous month. Consumption increased 8.7% or by 6.3 Bcf per day from a year ago.

Higher consumption is bullish for natural gas prices. Higher natural gas prices favor energy producers’ earnings like WPX Energy (WPX), EXCO Resources (XCO), EQT (EQT), and Cabot Oil & Gas (COG). 

Estimates 

US natural gas consumption averaged 75.10 Bcf per day in 2016 and 74.04 Bcf per day in 2017. According to the EIA, consumption could average ~77.53 Bcf per day and ~79.72 Bcf per day in 2018 and 2019, respectively. US natural gas consumption could hit a record in 2018 and 2019.

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Drivers of US natural gas consumption  

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

Impact  

Record production could exceed record consumption this year and next year, which would pressure natural gas prices. However, a rise in exports could limit the impact of oversupply.

Next, we’ll discuss natural gas price forecasts.

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