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.
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