The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 15, is expected to show the first triple-digit withdrawal of the season for the week to Dec. 9.
Analysts and traders surveyed ahead of the release of the upcoming EIA storage report anticipate a 117-Bcf to 144-Bcf withdrawal, with the consensus expectation being a withdrawal of 132 Bcf, well above the previous week's withdrawal of 42 Bcf and exceeding the five-year average withdrawal of 79 Bcf and the 46-Bcf withdrawal reported for the same week in 2015.
Heating degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week to Dec. 10 reflect supportive weather, outlining 41.0% more heating degree days compared to the same week last year and 5.9% more degree days than normal for the week.
In the previous week's data, the agency reported net 42-Bcf withdrawal from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Dec. 2, which was below the 69-Bcf withdrawal reported for the same week in 2015 and the five-year average withdrawal of 61 Bcf. The withdrawal brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 3,953 Bcf, some 51 Bcf above the year-ago level and 254 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 3,699 Bcf.
The withdrawal anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gas supply of 3,821 Bcf. The year-on-five-year-average surplus would shrink to 201 Bcf, while the surplus to the year-ago level would turn to a deficit of 35 Bcf.
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