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NYMEX November natural gas inches lower after bearish storage report

Houston — The NYMEX November natural gas futures contract inched lower Thursday following the latest bearish weekly US storage report.

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November traded 1.6 cents lower Thursday, settling at $2.218/MMBtu, trading in a range between $2.202/MMBtu and $2.274/MMBtu.

The US Energy Information Administration reported an injection of 98 Bcf into storage facilities in the week that ended October 4. A survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts found consensus expectations for an injection of 94 Bcf.

"[We] saw a big number this morning, and it showed that the market is oversupplied," said Kent Bayazitoglu, senior market analyst at Gelber & Associates. "We think that the opening of the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline is a big part of that. It's allowing for more production and we're starting to see the impact of it."

Kinder Morgan's Gulf Coast Express Pipeline entered full commercial service on September 25, adding takeaway capacity for the Permian Basin and making another 2 Bcf/d of supply available to the market.

US dry gas production is predicted to gradually increase over the coming weeks, averaging 90.3 Bcf/d in the period eight to 14 days hence, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. Dry gas production continues to hover above the year-to-date average of 88.1 Bcf/d.

The National Weather Service predicted warmer-than-average temperatures across the entire US in its most recent outlook for November, December and January, with those prospects adding to the pressure on prices.

Total US demand is forecast to decrease over the next few weeks. Demand is expected to total 70 Bcf Thursday, according to Platts Analytics, and average 67.3 Bcf/d in the period eight to 14 days forward.

The NYMEX settlement price is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EDT (2300 GMT).

-- Courtney Love,

-- Edited by Richard Rubin,