GAS PRICES: ABOVE $2.9
PLATTS - The NYMEX April natural gas futures contract settled Friday at $2.827/MMBtu, up 2.3 cents, continuing a steady rise since February 27 despite an abnormal February injection to gas storage stocks and demand hovering 7 Bcf/d below the five-year average.
Current total US demand averaging 86 Bcf/d since the beginning of 2017, around 7 Bcf/d below the five-year average. After beginning winter well above the average in December, the upward trend reversed, accelerating in February to ultimately expand the gap with the five-year average to 7.25 Bcf/d.
The NYMEX contract mirrored these movements, dropping around $1.11/MMBtu from a high of $3.93/MMBtu December 28 to current levels.
As the specter of above-average temperatures continues to loom over the major winter-demand markets of the Northeast and Upper Midwest until the middle of March, the US gas market faces the prospect of storage inventories reaching the end of the winter season closer to year-ago levels than the five-year average, placing a ceiling on futures contract movements.
According to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. analysts, the "market will need to stay undersupplied and [have] normal weather for [about] 15 weeks to work off excess inventory" to avoid a possible supply glut.
Current US production has fallen nearly 3 Bcf/d year on year to 70.6 Bcf/d, tightening gas supplies ahead of the summer season, possibly prompting the July-through-October strip to remain above $3/MMBtu, averaging $3.125/MMBtu Friday, nearly 9 cents above the prior 10-day trading average. In addition, downside risk to rising production comes as analysts at RigData, a unit of S&P Global Platts note a dwindling "incentive to target rigs toward natural gas plays," driven by the stark weakening of the prompt-month contract.
The NYMEX settlement is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EST (0000 GMT).
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Libya’s oil production increased steeply to the current level of 850,000 b/d from a low point in August 2016 of below 300,000 b/d. Production surpassed 1 million b/d in July.
- Revenue of $7.9 billion increased 6% sequentially - Pretax operating income of $1.1 billion increased 11% sequentially - GAAP EPS, including Cameron integration-related charges of $0.03 per share, was $0.39 - EPS, excluding Cameron integration-related charges, was $0.42 - Cash flow from operations was $1.9 billion; free cash flow was $1.1 billion
“The combination of GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes closed on July 3, and we are pleased with our progress during our first operating quarter. Despite the continuing challenging environment, we delivered solid orders growth and secured important wins from customers, advanced existing projects and enhanced our technology offerings in the quarter. We also achieved key integration milestones and made significant progress working as a combined company. I am now more convinced than ever that we combined the right companies at the right time,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, BHGE chairman and chief executive officer.
U.S. Rig Count is up 360 rigs from last year's count of 553, with oil rigs up 293, gas rigs up 69, and miscellaneous rigs down 2 to 2. Canada Rig Count is up 59 rigs from last year's count of 143, with oil rigs up 38 and gas rigs up 21.