The natural gas inventory report slated for release at 10:30 a.m. ET on March 29 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration could outline a drawdown well above the five-year average.
Market analysts and experts surveyed are calling for a storage withdrawal from 65 Bcf to 80 Bcf, with a consensus pegged at a 72-Bcf pull for the week to March 23. Within the range of expectations, the latest figure will be below the 86-Bcf withdrawal reported the previous week and well above the 58-Bcf year-ago withdrawal and the 46-Bcf five-year average pull.
The 86-Bcf pull reported for the week ended March 16 brought total U.S. working gas supply to 1,446 Bcf, or 667 Bcf below the year-ago level and 329 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 1,775 Bcf.
Degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration supports the storage outlook, as it shows that for the week to March 24, there were 25.8% more heating degree days than in 2017 but 10.2% more than normal.
A withdrawal at consensus would drive the total working gas inventory to 1,374 Bcf, widen the year-on-year deficit to 681 Bcf and extend the year-on-five-year-average deficit to 355 Bcf.
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