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US natural gas in storage slightly above average [ClearOnMoney]
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US natural gas in storage slightly above average

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Commentary

US natural gas in storage slightly above average

31 Jul 2012 by Jim Fickett

Today the Energy Information Administration released storage and consumption data through May. Gas in storage is somewhat high but, when measured in months of supply at current consumption rates, not excessively so.

The excessive production that has pushed prices so low continues to correct. Weir, a company that supplies many of the pumps used in fracking shale, complained in their recent earnings report that fracking is down significantly:

The industrial pump supplier said on Tuesday that a slide in demand for equipment used in “fracking” – the hydraulic fracturing technique used to release gas from dense shale rock – had been offset by a jump in orders at its mining and industrial power divisions. …

Weir supplies one in every two of the high-pressure pumps used in the US and Canadian shale markets. …

The decline in shale gas prices has led to an unwinding of forward orders and $84m worth of last year’s orders were cancelled during the six-month period, according to Keith Cochrane, Weir’s chief executive.

The hot summer has no doubt improved demand (electric generation to supply air conditioners) at the same time that production is being cut back. Perhaps we are finally getting near a normalization of the US natural gas market.