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Weekly storage pull to lag behind prior week, historical averages

The natural gas inventory report to be released at 10:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 28 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to show a withdrawal for the week ended Dec. 22 that trails both the year-ago and five-year-average withdrawals.

Market analysts and experts surveyed are calling for a storage pull from 103 Bcf to 114 Bcf, with a consensus pegged at a 109-Bcf pull. The latest figure will compare to the 233-Bcf year-ago withdrawal and the 111-Bcf five-year average pull.

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For the week ended Dec. 15, the EIA reported a net 182 Bcf was pulled from natural gas storage in the Lower 48, leaving total U.S. working gas supply at 3,444 Bcf, 183 Bcf below the year-ago level and 84 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 3,528 Bcf.

A draw at this week's consensus would drive the total working gas supply to 3,335 Bcf, would shrink the year-on-year deficit to 59 Bcf and would trim the year-on-five-year-average deficit to 82 Bcf.

Weather is expected to have supported the comparatively smaller withdrawal in this week's report, as degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week Dec. 23 shows heating degree days were 19.2% fewer versus normal for the period.

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