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EIA data expected to show below-average build, smaller than prior week

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EIA data expected to show below-average build, smaller than prior week

Followinga week of stifling heat, market observers expect the U.S. Energy InformationAdministration's weekly natural gas inventory report to reflect anotherbelow-average build to the Lower 48's underground storage.

Analystsand traders surveyed ahead of Thursday's 10:30 a.m. ET release of the reportanticipate a 33-Bcf to 39-Bcf injection, with the consensus expectation being astorage build of 37 Bcf, below the previous week's injection of 64 Bcf, wellbelow the five-year average injection of 61 Bcf and sharply below the 70-Bcfinjection reported for the same week in 2015.

Coolingdegree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forthe review week to July 16 reflect weather supportive of demand, outlining12.2% more cooling degree days compared to the same week last year, and 13.7%more than normal for the week.

Inthe previous week'sdata, the reported net 64-Bcf injection into natural gas inventories in theLower 48 during the week ended July 8 was above the market consensus ahead ofthe report's release that called for a 58-Bcf build to stocks, but was wellbelow both the 95-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2015 and thefive-year average injection of 77 Bcf.

Thebuild brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 3,243 Bcf, some 507 Bcfabove the year-ago level and 586 Bcf above the five-year average storage levelof 2,657 Bcf.

Theinjection anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gassupply of 3,280 Bcf. The year-on-five-year-average surplus would shrink to 562Bcf while the surplus to the year-ago level would fall to 474 Bcf.

Marketprices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication andare subject to change. For more detailed market data, including our power,naturalgas and coal index prices, as well as forwardsand futures,visit our Commodities Pages. To view detailed EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storagedata, go to our Natural GasStorage Page.