In the News (EIA):
Petronet and Tellurian explore partnership in proposed Driftwood LNG facility:
On September 21, 2019, India’s Petronet LNG Limited signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tellurian Inc. to explore purchasing up to 0.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Tellurian’s proposed Driftwood LNG facility. Previously, Petronet LNG Limited signed an MOU in February 2019 to consider equity investment in the facility. India’s government has a stated goal to expand its natural gas use. Driftwood LNG, a subsidiary of Tellurian LNG LLC, is developing a 3.6 Bcf/d liquefaction export facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana. In April 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted authorizations for Driftwood LNG (under Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act) that include building a 96-mile natural gas pipeline to interconnect with the facility. In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy issued an opinion and order granting long-term authorization to export LNG from Driftwood to non-free trade agreement nations. Two-thirds (1.1 Bcf/d) of the Driftwood LNG capacity has been subscribed to Petronet LNG Limited, Tellurian Inc., and Total. The remaining capacity (0.5 Bcf/d) is uncommitted. Assuming a positive final investment decision (FID), the proposed project schedule anticipates an in-service date in 2023. According to Tellurian’s CEO, the MOU between Petronet LNG Limited and Tellurian Inc. is valued at $7.5 billion, including $2.5 billion for an 18% equity stake in Driftwood. Petronet LNG Limited, the largest importer of natural gas in India, operates LNG receiving and regasification terminals in Dahej, Gujarat, (2.3 Bcf/d capacity) and Kochi, Kerala (0.7 Bcf/d). The Indian government’s stated goal for natural gas is a 15% share of primary energy demand by 2030, more than two times higher than current levels (6%). India will need to invest in natural gas infrastructure, including regasification capacity to accommodate increased shipments of LNG, to expand natural gas service within the country. According to EIA’s recently released International Energy Outlook (IEO2019), demand for natural gas in India’s industrial sector is projected to grow more than 250% between 2018 and 2050, causing a greater reliance on imports given the country’s relatively small natural gas reserves. IEO2019 projects that India will increasingly manufacture energy-intensive goods such as chemicals and primary metals.
Natural gas spot prices fell at most locations this report week (Wednesday, September 25 to Wednesday, October 2). Henry Hub spot prices fell from $2.51 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last Wednesday to $2.30/MMBtu yesterday. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the October 2019 contract expired Thursday at $2.428/MMBtu, down 7¢/MMBtu from last Wednesday. The November 2019 contract decreased to $2.247/MMBtu, down 27¢/MMBtu from last Wednesday to yesterday. The price of the 12-month strip averaging November 2019 through October 2020 futures contracts declined 11¢/MMBtu to $2.386/MMBtu. Net injections to working gas totaled 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending September 27. Working natural gas stocks are 3,317 Bcf, which is 16% more than the year-ago level and 1% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for this week.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell by 11¢/MMBtu, averaging $5.09/MMBtu for the week ending October 2. The price of butane, natural gasoline, and ethane fell by 2%, 3%, and 8%, respectively. The price of isobutane rose by 1%. The price of propane remained flat week over week. According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, September 24, the natural gas rig count decreased by 2 to 146. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 6 to 713. The total rig count decreased by 8, and it now stands at 860.
Henry Hub prices are down amid mixed temperatures. This report week (Wednesday, September 25 to Wednesday, October 2), Henry Hub spot prices fell 21¢ from $2.51/MMBtu last Wednesday to a low of $2.30/MMBtu yesterday. Temperatures were significantly warmer-than-normal east of the Rockies and cooler-than-normal west of the Rockies. At the Chicago Citygate, prices decreased 10¢ from a high of $2.01/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.91/MMBtu yesterday. Southern California prices are down and Northern California prices are up slightly. Prices at SoCal Citygate decreased 44¢ from a high of $3.72/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.28/MMBtu yesterday as the California Public Utilities Commission urged the Southern California Gas Company to increase injections at all available underground storage fields to prepare for winter. Prices at PG&E Citygate in Northern California rose 6¢, up from $3.02/MMBtu last Wednesday to a high of $3.08/MMBtu yesterday. Northeast prices are mixed. At the Algonquin Citygate, which serves Boston-area consumers, prices went up 12¢ from $1.80/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.92/MMBtu yesterday because temperatures are forecast to cool. At the Transcontinental Pipeline Zone 6 trading point for New York City, prices decreased 12¢ from $1.62/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.50/MMBtu yesterday amid light seasonal demand. Prices reached a low of $1.08/MMBtu on Friday, the lowest price in nearly three years (October 2016). Tennessee Zone 4 Marcellus spot prices decreased 12¢ from $1.46/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.34/MMBtu yesterday. Prices at Dominion South in southwest Pennsylvania fell 9¢ from $1.51/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.42/MMBtu yesterday. Permian Basin prices are down. Prices at the Waha Hub in West Texas, which is located near Permian Basin production area, averaged a high of $1.60/MMBtu last Wednesday, 91¢/MMBtu lower than Henry Hub prices. Yesterday, prices at the Waha Hub averaged $1.37/MMBtu, 93¢/MMBtu lower than Henry Hub prices. Supply rises. According to data from IHS Markit, the average total supply of natural gas rose by 1% compared with the previous report week. Dry natural gas production grew by 1% compared with the previous report week. Average net imports from Canada increased by 6% from last week. U.S. LNG exports decrease week over week. Eleven LNG vessels (seven from Sabine Pass, three from Corpus Christi, and one from Cameron LNG export terminals) with a combined LNG-carrying capacity of 40 Bcf departed the United States between September 26 and October 2, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. Three vessels (one at Sabine Pass, one at Corpus Christi, and one at Freeport LNG terminals) were loading on Wednesday. Cove Point LNG export terminal is undergoing scheduled maintenance. The facility has had no exports depart since September 19, 2019.
Net injections into storage totaled 112 Bcf for the week ending September 27, compared with the five-year (2014–18) average net injections of 83 Bcf and last year’s net injections of 91 Bcf during the same week. Working gas stocks totaled 3,317 Bcf, which is 18 Bcf lower than the five-year average and 465 Bcf more than last year at this time. According to The Desk survey of natural gas analysts, estimates of the weekly net change from working natural gas stocks ranged from net injections of 98 Bcf to 115 Bcf, with a median estimate of 108 Bcf. The average rate of net injections into storage is 28% higher than the five-year average so far in the refill season (April through October). If the rate of injections into storage matched the five-year average of 10.5 Bcf/d for the remainder of the refill season, total inventories would be 3,674 Bcf on October 31, which is 18 Bcf lower than the five-year average of 3,692 Bcf for that time of year.