The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that a net 124 Bcf was pulled from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Feb. 16, which was mixed against historical averages.
The withdrawal left total U.S. working gas supply at 1,760 Bcf, or 609 Bcf below the year-ago level and 412 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 2,172 Bcf. The pull was within the wider range of trader and analyst estimates but came in higher than a consensus expectation of 116 Bcf.
March natural gas futures were lower ahead of the data's 10:30 a.m. ET release, trading down about 1.0 cent near $2.649/MMBtu at 10:28 a.m. ET. Following the release of the report, the contract slipped 1.4 cents on the day to $2.645/MMBtu.
In the East, inventories were down 29 Bcf on the week to 403 Bcf, or 8% below the year-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were down 40 Bcf to 428 Bcf, or 30.5% below the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were down 11 Bcf on the week at 111 Bcf, or 24.5% below the year-ago level, while in the Pacific region, storage levels were down 9 Bcf on the week to 204 Bcf, or 1.0% below the year-ago level.
In the South Central region, where storage levels were down 35 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a deficit of 36.2% to a year earlier.
Working gas stocks in the South Central region totaled 614 Bcf, with 175 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and 440 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks were down 3 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and down 32 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities since the previous week.
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