The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 87-Bcf injection into natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Oct. 6 that was above market expectations and matched the five-year average.
The market consensus ahead of the report's release called for an 84-Bcf build to stocks, against a year-ago injection of 79 Bcf and the 87-Bcf five-year average. The build brought total U.S. working gas supply to 3,595 Bcf, or 153 Bcf below the year-ago level and 8 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 3,603 Bcf.
November natural gas futures were higher ahead of the 10:30 a.m. ET release of the latest storage data trading from $2.895/MMBtu to $2.959/MMBtu and moving 6.5 cents higher at $2.954/MMBtu just in front of the release. In a knee-jerk response to the figure the contract jumped to $2.960/MMBtu, but reversed to trade back within the pre-release range, last seen 5.9 cents higher at $2.9478MMBtu.
In the East, inventories were up 23 Bcf on the week at 884 Bcf, or 3.0% below the year-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 35 Bcf at 1,024 Bcf, or 4.0% below the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up 3 Bcf on the week at 223 Bcf, or 7.1% below the year-ago level, while in the Pacific region, storage levels were up 4 Bcf at 315 Bcf, or 2.2% below the year-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were up a net 22 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a deficit of 4.9% to a year earlier.
Working gas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,149 Bcf, with 310 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and with 838 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks were up 10 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and up 11 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities since the previous week.
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