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Natural gas inventory build well above outlooks, averages

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 106-Bcf injection into natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended June 2 that was above market expectations and well above historical averages.

The injection beat the market consensus ahead of the report's release that called for a 98-Bcf build in stocks, and was above both the 68-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2016 and the five-year average injection of 94 Bcf.

The build brought total U.S. working gas supply to 2,631 Bcf, or 332 Bcf below the year-ago level and 237 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 2,394 Bcf.

July natural gas futures were trading on either side of unchanged in a range from $3.003/MMBtu to $3.043/MMBtu and eyed 1.0 cent lower at $3.010/MMBtu just ahead of the 10:30 a.m. ET release of the data. Following the release, the contract slipped to a $2.978/MMBtu low before returning to the plus-side of the ledger, up 2.4 cents at $3.044/MMBtu at last look.

In the East, inventories were up 38 Bcf on the week at 457 Bcf, or 17.8% below the year-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 29 Bcf at 614 Bcf, or 9.2% below the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up 6 Bcf on the week to 172 Bcf, or 5.5% below the year-ago level, while in the Pacific region, storage levels were up 11 Bcf at 269 Bcf, or 12.4% below the year-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were up a net 22 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a deficit of 9.9% to a year earlier.

Working gas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,119 Bcf, with 345 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and with 774 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks were up 3 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and up 19 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities since the previous week.

Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power, natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.