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EIA Rolls Out Revamped NatGas Storage Report Testing Schedule

Well, that was fast! The Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday night released the October testing schedule of its revamped Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, which expands its original three-region East, West and Producing classification to a five-region East, Midwest, Mountain, Pacific and South Central classification in order to better pinpoint where gas injections are taking place.

Speaking at Energy Metro Desk's Weather & Price Tealeaves II on Tuesday, Steve Harvey, assistant administrator for Energy Statistics at EIA, told a Houston audience that the revamp should be unveiled "any day now" (see Daily GPISept. 29). Turns out, "any day" proved to be the current one.

Harvey has had a front seat view of the surge in onshore gas production from areas that traditionally hadn't been producing areas, such as the Northeast. The abundance of gas led EIA this year to begin retooling its weekly reports, which basically would add regions to improve transparency. RBN Energy had reported in June that EIA would split the U.S. inventory data into five regions, from three (see Daily GPI, June 25). As part of the overhaul, EIA is also lowering the threshold for reporting revisions from equal to or greater than 7 Bcf to equal to or greater than 4 Bcf in an effort to provide a more accurate estimate.

"Something is off," Harvey said when asked about market volatility in some regions. "Any day now...we will switch our reporting regions a little bit to get more granularity" and define the regions that "drift together...They will line up better..."

For instance, gas injection figures for the West region have included some Midwest injections. Northeastern injections roll into some injections in the Southeast, and so on.

The first test version of the new format is located at: http://ir.eia.gov/ngs_test/ngs.html, and covers injections for the week ending July 17, 2015. Four more tests will take place during the month of October (see chart). Details and dates for public testing for the new file formats, including the HTML, TXT, XLS, JSON, and CSV files, are available at http://ir.eia.gov/ngs/notice.html?src=email. EIA advises that all file formats need to be tested and checked for the new changes. "We anticipate coding changes will be needed for customers automatically scraping the data from any of these files," the government agency said Tuesday.

Implementation of the new report changes is anticipated for later in 2015, pending the successful outcome of these scheduled public tests and further internal testing.

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