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Weekly Lower 48 natural gas draw of 141 Bcf lands slightly below expectations

Lower 48 natural gas storage operators withdrew a net 141 Bcf from their facilities during the week to Dec. 14, compared to a five-year-average pull of 144 Bcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The draw, which was also below the 145 Bcf that analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts expected, brought total working gas supply in the Lower 48 to 2,773 Bcf, or 697 Bcf below the year-ago level and 720 Bcf below the five-year average.

By region:

* In the East, stockpiles were down 40 Bcf on the week at 692 Bcf, down 15% from the year-ago level.

* In the Midwest, inventories dropped 44 Bcf at 841 Bcf, 15% below a year earlier.

* In the Mountain region, stockpiles fell 7 Bcf at 153 Bcf, 25% below a year ago.

* In the Pacific region, inventories fell 11 Bcf at 227 Bcf, 23% under a year ago.

* In the South Central region, stockpiles declined 38 Bcf at 860 Bcf, 26% below the year-ago level.

Of that total, 262 Bcf of gas was in salt cavern facilities and 598 Bcf was in non-salt-cavern facilities. Working gas stocks dropped 3% in salt cavern facilities from the previous week and fell 4.6% in non-salt-cavern facilities.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.