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EIA storage report beats expectations, lags behind historical averages

TheU.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 52-Bcf injection intonatural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Sept. 16 that wasabove market expectations but well below historical averages.

Theinjection was above the market consensus ahead of the report's release that called fora 49-Bcf build in stocks, but was below the 96-Bcf injection reported for thesame week in 2015 and the five-year average injection of 83 Bcf.

Thebuild brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 3,551 Bcf, or 140 Bcf abovethe year-ago level and 268 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of3,283 Bcf.

Aheadof the 10:30 a.m. ET release of the data, October natural gas futures were tradinghigher, adding 0.3 cents at last look to trade at $3.060/MMBtu. On the releaseof the data, the contract slipped to a $3.012/MMBtu low and held the downsidetrading last at $3.013/MMBtu, 4.4 cents lower on the session.

Inthe East, inventories were up 19 Bcf on the week at 851 Bcf, or 5.7% above theyear-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 31 Bcf at 985 Bcf, or8.5% above the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up 3Bcf on the week to 230 Bcf, or 17.3% above the year-ago level, while in thePacific region, storage levels were up 1 Bcf at 318 Bcf, or 9.4% below theyear-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were down anet 2 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a surplus of 1.4% to a year earlier.

Workinggas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,167 Bcf, with 278 Bcf in saltcavern facilities and 889 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stockswere down 7 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and up 5 Bcf in non-salt cavernfacilities since the previousweek.

Market prices and includedindustry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange. For more detailed market data, including our power,naturalgas and coalindex prices, as well as forwardsand futures,visit our Commodities Pages. To view detailed EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storagedata, go to our Natural GasStorage Page.