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81-Bcf draw from Lower 48 gas storage exceeds expectations

Lower 48 natural gas storage operators withdrew a net 81 Bcf from inventories in the week ended Jan. 11, compared to a five-year-average draw of 218 Bcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The pull, which came in higher than the 77-Bcf draw projected by an S&P Global Platts survey, brought total working gas supply in the Lower 48 to 2,533 Bcf, or 77 Bcf below the year-ago level and 327 Bcf below the five-year average.

By region:

* In the East, inventories fell 31 Bcf on the week at 620 Bcf, roughly the same as the year-ago level.

* In the Midwest, stockpiles dropped 34 Bcf at 729 Bcf, relatively flat over the year-ago level.

* In the Mountain region, storage levels fell 5 Bcf at 127 Bcf, down 20% from a year ago.

* In the Pacific region, storage levels declined 8 Bcf at 196 Bcf, down 20% from the year-ago level.

* In the South Central region, storage levels declined 4 Bcf at 861 Bcf, remaining steady over the year-ago level.

Of that total, 303 Bcf of gas was in salt cavern facilities and 557 Bcf was in non-salt-cavern facilities. Working gas stocks remained flat in salt cavern facilities from the week before and dropped 1.1% in non-salt-cavern facilities.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.