The natural gas inventory report slated for release at 10:30 a.m. ET on March 22 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 85 Bcf to 93 Bcf, with a consensus pegged at a 90-Bcf pull for the week to March 16. Within the range of expectations, the latest figure will be at or below the 93-Bcf withdrawal reported the previous week and will compare well below the 137-Bcf year-ago withdrawal but well above the 53-Bcf five-year average pull.
The 93-Bcf pull reported for the week ended March 9 brought total U.S. working gas supply to 1,532 Bcf, or 718 Bcf below the year-ago level and 296 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 1,828 Bcf.
Degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration supports the storage outlook as it shows for the week to March 17 there were 15.1% fewer heating degree days than last year but 4.6% more than normal.
A withdrawal at consensus would drive the total working gas inventory to 1,442 Bcf and would trim the year-on-year deficit to 671 Bcf and extend the year-on-five-year-average deficit to 333 Bcf.
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