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Weekly US gas pull misses analyst estimates at 44 Bcf

Storage operators withdrew a net 44 Bcf from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Jan. 3, compared to a five-year average draw of 156 Bcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The pull, below the 50 Bcf withdrawal forecast by an S&P Global Platts analyst survey, brought total working gas supply in the Lower 48 to 3,148 Bcf, or 521 Bcf above the year-ago level and 74 Bcf above the five-year average.

By region:

* In the East, stockpiles were down 15 Bcf on the week at 756 Bcf, 16% above the year-ago level.

* In the Midwest, stockpiles were down 20 Bcf at 885 Bcf, 15% higher than a year earlier.

* In the Mountain region, stockpiles fell 7 Bcf at 166 Bcf, 24% higher than the year-ago level.

* In the Pacific region, inventories were down 7 Bcf at 244 Bcf, 18% more than the year-ago level.

* In the South Central region, stockpiles rose 4 Bcf at 1,097 Bcf, 27% more than a year ago. Of that total, 323 Bcf of gas was in salt cavern facilities and 774 Bcf was in non-salt-cavern facilities. Working gas stocks rose 3% in salt cavern facilities from the week before and were down 0.8% in non-salt-cavern facilities.

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