The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 112-Bcf withdrawal from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended Dec. 22 that was slightly above consensus estimates and the five-year average, but well below the same week last year.
The market consensus ahead of the report's release called for a 109-Bcf drawdown from stocks, against respective year-ago and five-year average withdrawals of 233 Bcf and 111 Bcf.
The pull brought total U.S. working gas supply to 3,332 Bcf, or 62 Bcf below the year-ago level and 85 Bcf below the five-year average storage level of 3,417 Bcf.
February 2018 natural gas was sharply higher ahead of the report's 10:30 a.m. ET release rising to $2.888/MMBtu and trading 14.5 cents up at $2.877/MMBtu at 10:29 a.m. ET. Following the data's release the contract extended gains to a $2.909/MMBtu high while moving last 15.7 cents higher on the session at $2.889/MMBtu.
In the East, inventories were down 29 Bcf on the week at 782 Bcf, or 2.2% above the year-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were down 39 Bcf at 941 Bcf, or 1.5% below the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were down 9 on the week at 195 Bcf, or 11.0% below the year-ago level, while in the Pacific region, storage levels were down 13 Bcf at 281 Bcf, or 1.7% below the year-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were down 22 Bcf on the week, stocks are at a deficit of 3.2% to a year earlier.
Working gas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,133 Bcf, with 324 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and with 809 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks were down 6 Bcf in salt cavern facilities and down 16 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.