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EIA reports natural gas storage build below expectations, averages

TheU.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 49-Bcf injection intonatural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Sept. 23 that wasbelow market expectations and well below historical averages.

Theinjection was a downside miss against the market consensus ahead of the report's release thatcalled for a 54-Bcf build in stocks, and was below the 99-Bcf injectionreported for the same week in 2015 and the five-year average injection of 97Bcf.

Thebuild brought total U.S. working gas supply to 3,600 Bcf, or 90 Bcf above theyear-ago level and 220 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 3,380Bcf.

Inits debut as the lead contract, November natural gas futures attempted gainsearly but pulled back to trade as low as $2.958/MMBtu ahead of the data's 10:30a.m. ET release. At the release of the data, the market reversed course,pulling back above $3/MMBtu to trade as high as $3.032/MMBtu, before slippingto trade last 0.7 cent higher on the day at $3.009/MMBtu.

Inthe East, inventories were up 23 Bcf on the week at 874 Bcf, or 5.3% above theyear-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 29 Bcf at 1,014 Bcf, or7.6% above the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up 3Bcf on the week to 233 Bcf, or 16.5% above the year-ago level, while in thePacific region, storage levels were unchanged at 318 Bcf, or 10.2% below theyear-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were down anet 6 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a deficit of 1.9% to a year earlier.

Workinggas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,161 Bcf, with 275 Bcf in saltcavern facilities and 885 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stockswere down 3 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and down 4 Bcf in non-salt cavernfacilities since the previousweek.

Market prices and includedindustry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange. For more detailed market data, including our power,naturalgas and coalindex prices, as well as forwardsand futures,visit our Commodities Pages. To view detailed EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storagedata, go to our Natural GasStorage Page.