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Natural gas storage survey suggests brief return to withdrawals

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Natural gas storage survey suggests brief return to withdrawals

Theweekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. EnergyInformation Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 31, is expectedto show a return to withdrawals from natural gas inventories in the week toMarch 25.

The surveyof analysts and traders leading up to the report's release outlines a netchange for the review week ranged from a 16-Bcf withdrawal to a 33-Bcf pull,with a consensus formed at a 24-Bcf drawdown from stocks that would compareagainst a five-year average withdrawal of 22 Bcf and the 10-Bcf drawdownreported for the same week in 2015.

Thepull would reflect a week that saw 8.3% fewer heating degree days compared tothe same week in 2015 and 9.7% fewer than normal, according to National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration degree day data for the week to March 26.

Inthe previous week's data,the EIA reported a net 15-Bcf injection into natural gas inventories in theLower 48 during the week ended March 18 that was below expectations coming intothe day and compared against the five-year average withdrawal of 24 Bcf and theyear-ago pull of 4 Bcf. The injection brought total U.S. working gas supply to2,493 Bcf, or 1,017 Bcf above the year-ago level and 846 Bcf above thefive-year average storage level of 1,647 Bcf.

Thewithdrawal anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gassupply of 2,469 Bcf, tightening the year-on-year surplus to 1,003 Bcf and theyear-on-five-year average surplus to 844 Bcf.

At2,469 Bcf the total working gas supply would be just below the record high2,473 Bcf in storage on March 31, 2012. With just one week remaining in thewithdrawal season and outlooks calling for an injection in the week to April 1,inventories could make a fresh end-of-season record high.

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.