Amid increased production and downstream constraints, storage injections on NGTL's system have spiked again as outlet capacity remains limited from restrictions at Empress/McNeill. While this appears to only be limiting approximately 0.2 Bcf/d at Empress and less than 0.1 Bcf/d at McNeill since maintenance began Saturday, it has still been significant enough to limit how much gas is able to make it to market along Mainline or via Emerson despite widening spreads incentivizing such movement. This has led to increased injections on NGTL, which have averaged 937 MMcf/d over the last week, an increase of 350 MMcf/d week on week and an increase of 364 MMcf/d from the same period last year. NGTL injections have now averaged 901 MMcf/d MTD, an increase of 149 MMcf/d from the prior five-year average. With restrictions at Empress/McNeill expected to last until gas day 28, injections could remain strong if NGTL receipts continue to stay elevated. According to NGTL's latest short-term operational plan, the next round of downstream capacity restrictions after the current one wraps up won't begin until August 10 at the Alberta/BC border, as well as at the McNeill border starting August 12 and will last for various days through August 21. However, NGTL is also scheduled to cut USJR receipts by 1.7-1.8 Bcf/d around the same time, so this could reduce some of the need to inject. • Bentek will republish this report when a technical issue on page 2 is fixed.
Chicago basis slid from late last week and into gas day 25 on cooler weather and reduced power demand, which is forecast to stay through July. Nicor basis climbed to minus 9 cents last Wednesday and Thursday on 80-degree F weather pushing power burn to a summer-to-date high of 4.8 Bcf/d on Thursday July 20, up from minus 18 cents in July though that point. Nicor basis sits at minus 13 cents for Tuesday, gas Day 25, as power demand fell to 2.6 Bcf/d. Midwest basis may find a bit of strength from the power sector through gas day 27 as power burn is forecast to average 3.1 Bcf/d before tapering off to 2.3 Bcf/d through the end of July. This will bring July 2017 power burn to an average of 2.8 Bcf/d, or 300 MMcf/d shy of July 2016’s near record setting 3.1 Bcf/d on 0.7 degree cooler weather this month and gas that was 8 cents more expensive. • Bentek will republish this report when a technical issue on page 7 is fixed.
TCO reported its lowest storage injection since mid-April of 5.5 Bcf while Dominion remained unchanged week on week with a reported injection of 8 Bcf. For the week ending July 21, TCO’s injection was 2.7 Bcf below the same week last year and currently pushes inventories 4.1 Bcf behind last year's levels making TCO's storage facilities 73% full. Throughout late July and August, it is not uncommon to see injections on TCO dip, due to implementation of ratcheting procedures and a sustained power demand from summer weather. Once power demand begins to fall off around September and winter heating demand has not yet picked up, storage injections will typically strengthen. Dominion inventories are still 36 Bcf behind last year’s levels and 27.6 Bcf behind the five-year average, increasing the likelihood Dominion will be entering the winter at levels below 2016. Although inventories on Dominion are down compared with last year, injections alone are 18 Bcf higher year on year, which can be traced back to DTI's record draw down on storage inventories throughout last winter.