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EIA data shows larger-than-expected natural gas storage build

TheU.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 68-Bcf injection intonatural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended April 29 that wasslightly better than market expectations.

Theinjection was below the 77-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2015,but was better than the five-year average injection of 64 Bcf and brought totalU.S. working gas supply to 2,625 Bcf, some 861 Bcf above the year-ago level and836 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 1,789 Bcf.

Asurvey of analystsand traders ahead of the report's release showed outlooks ranged from a 56-Bcfinjection to as much as a 75-Bcf build, with a consensus formed at a 66-Bcf injectioninto storage.

Aheadof the report's 10:30 a.m. ET release, June natural gas futures were tradinglower, slipping 2.7 cents to trade at $2.114/MMBtu. Following the data thecontract tumbled to an intraday low at $2.101/MMBtu before moving back to tradelast at $2.124/MMBtu, 1.7 cents lower on the day.

Inthe East, inventories were up 23 Bcf on the week at 454 Bcf, or 48.9% above theyear-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 12 Bcf at 566 Bcf, or84.4% above the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up2 Bcf on the week to 157 Bcf, or 31.9% above the year-ago level, while in thePacific region, storage levels were up 7 Bcf at 284 Bcf, or 0.4% below theyear-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were up 24Bcf on the week, stocks are at a surplus of 55.8% to a year earlier.

Workinggas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,164 Bcf, with 362 Bcf in saltcavern facilities and with 802 Bcf in nonsalt cavern facilities. Working gasstocks were up 10 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and up 14 Bcf in nonsaltcavern facilities since the previousweek.

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 NaturalGas Storage Page.