The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday is expected to detail an addition above the year-ago level but below the five-year average injection.
Analysts and traders surveyed ahead of the release of the EIA's upcoming natural gas storage report anticipate an injection of 25 Bcf to 44 Bcf for the week ended Aug. 4, with an average 36-Bcf addition anticipated. The figure will compare to a 54-Bcf five-year-average injection and a 24-Bcf addition in the prior year.
Degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week ended Aug. 4 reflects milder weather during the first week of August, outlining cooling degree days that were 4.1% fewer than normal for the week.
Total working gas stocks currently sit at 3,010 Bcf, after the EIA reported a 20-Bcf injection for the week ended July 28, marking only the third time that inventories breached the 3,000-Bcf mark this early in the refill season. The reported storage injection defied the 3-Bcf pull in the prior year but missed the 44-Bcf five-year average addition to stocks.
The injection anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gas supply of 3,046 Bcf.
Despite the sluggish pace of storage rebuilding, current inventories look to be on track toward a near-record level by the end of the injection season, which traditionally runs through the close of October. The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the EIA projects that total inventories will likely top 3,900 Bcf by the end of October.
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