Thursday, January 5, 2017

Alberta Natural Gas Production and Storage Continues Tighter Than 2016

Four days into the new year, production on the TC Nova system in western Canada is lagging 2016.  It has averaged 11 BCFD in the first four days of the year, about 200 MMCF lower than 2016.  Production typically picks up steam through the winter, as the holiday effect on drilling and completion wears off, and frozen earth facilitates production activity.  

Here are the daily receipts on TC Nova:

And here is a view of the entire 2016 daily activity and monthly averages, showing seasonality, daily variability, and the beginnings of 2017:

Meanwhile, last year's burgeoning inventories due to a mild winter and lack of capacity was reflected in small winter withdrawals and big summer injections.  This year's inventory started about 50 BCF above the 5 year average, and withdrawals should easily outpace 2016.  

Here's a look at Q1.  The first few days are not a prediction, but the draws are much larger than last year.  Canadian demand should be well above last year, due to normal weather and increased tar sands demand, and exports to the US should be steady.  Unless production spikes to new highs (which it might), the daily storage draws should deplete the surplus inventory in a couple of months.

This shows cumulative storage activity for last year, and the beginning of 2017: