Boosted by a colder look to forecasts for early December, natural gas futures extended their recent gains in early trading Tuesday. The December Nymex contract was up 5.5 cents to $2.766/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET. January was up 6.3 cents to $2.886.
After “not being quite as bearish” in Monday’s runs, the weather data overnight maintained recent colder trends for the first few days of December, showing systems impacting both northern and southern portions of the country, according to NatGasWeather.
“Thereafter is where” the Global Forecast System “trended back milder overnight by seeing a bearish overall pattern Dec. 4-8, while the European model isn’t quite as warm by favoring stronger weather systems over the southern U.S.,” the firm said.
Also impacting prices, NatGasWeather said its estimates show Lower 48 production reaching 91 Bcf/d as of Monday, up around 3-4 Bcf/d over the past month.
“The supply/demand balance is still much tighter year/year, but it would simply be more impressive if not for the recent jump in Lower 48 production,” the firm said.
After reporting an unseasonable November injection last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expected to report a return to withdrawals for this week’s storage report, scheduled for an adjusted holiday release at noon ET Wednesday because of Thanksgiving.
NGI’s model is estimating a 35 Bcf withdrawal for the week ended Nov. 20. Last year EIA recorded a 47 Bcf withdrawal for the similar week, and the five-year average is a withdrawal of 37 Bcf.
Energy Aspects issued a preliminary estimate for a withdrawal of 20 Bcf for the upcoming report.
Moderate cold, including some below freezing temperatures in the Northeast late in the report week, led the firm to model a 75% week/week increase in heating degree days (HDD), enough to boost residential/commercial demand by 9.5 Bcf/d. However, the firm said total HDD remained nearly 10% below the previous 10-year average for the period.
Based on the “surprise strength” of last week’s reported injection in the East, Energy Aspects revised its production estimate higher by 0.25 Bcf/d to account for stronger output from Appalachia.
For the upcoming report the firm is modeling a 2.1 Bcf/d week/week increase in production “led by the return of Appalachia shut-ins. Data from the Northeast indicate ‘flush production’ — output spikes as wells return from shut-ins — which props up our overall estimate.”
Recent flow data indicate Appalachian output approached an all-time high at 33.6 Bcf/d as of late last week, according to Energy Aspects.
January crude oil futures were up 63 cents to $43.69/bbl at around 8:40 a.m. ET, while December RBOB gasoline was up about 3.0 cents to $1.2336/gal.
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