The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 22 is expected to detail another triple-digit withdrawal this season for the week ended Dec. 16.
The agency could show a withdrawal from storage ranging from 195 Bcf to 205 Bcf, with an average 200-Bcf pull projected for the week under review. The figure will compare to a 101-Bcf five-year average withdrawal and a smallish 33-Bcf pull during the same week in 2015.
Heating degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week ended Dec. 17 reflect cold weather that drove demand higher, outlining almost 85% more heating degree days compared to the same week in 2015 and 11.1% more degree days than normal for the week.
For the week ended Dec. 9, the EIA reported a net 147-Bcf withdrawal from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48. The pull exceeded the five-year average withdrawal of 79 Bcf and the 46-Bcf pull reported for the same week in 2015. The 147-Bcf withdrawal also brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 3,806 Bcf, turning the year-on-year surplus to a deficit of 50 Bcf and shrinking the year-on-five-year average storage surplus to 186 Bcf.
The withdrawal anticipated in the coming week's data would result in a total working gas supply of 3,606 Bcf. At the consensus pull, the year-on-five-year-average surplus would narrow to 87 Bcf while the deficit to the year-ago level would widen to 217 Bcf.
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