TheU.S. Energy Information Administration reported a net 73-Bcf injection intonatural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended April 22 that wasbetter than anticipated but below the prior-year injection.
Whilebelow the 84-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2015, this week'sstorage injection compared better against the five-year average injection of 52Bcf and brought total U.S. working gas supply to 2,557 Bcf, some 870 Bcf abovethe year-ago level and 832 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of1,725 Bcf.
Asurvey of analystsand traders ahead of the report's release showed outlooks ranged from a 62-Bcfinjection to as much as an 81-Bcf build, with a consensus formed at a 70-Bcfinjection into storage.
Aheadof the report's 10:30 a.m. ET release, the fresh front-month June natural gasfutures contract was trading down, edging back 5.7 cents to move at$2.096/MMBtu. Following the data the contract dipped below the pre-release lowto trade at $2.076/MMBtu, before reversing some losses to trade last at$2.086/MMBtu, 6.5 cents lower on the session.
Inthe East, inventories were up 23 Bcf on the week at 431 Bcf, or 50.2% above theyear-ago level. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 16 Bcf at 554 Bcf, or89.7% above the year-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up3 Bcf on the week to 155 Bcf, or 31.4% above the year-ago level, while in thePacific region, storage levels were up 6 Bcf at 277 Bcf, or 1.1% below theyear-ago level. In the South Central region, where storage levels were up 25Bcf on the week, stocks are at a surplus of 60.6% to a year earlier.
Workinggas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,140 Bcf, with 352 Bcf in saltcavern facilities and with 788 Bcf in nonsalt cavern facilities. Working gasstocks were up 10 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and up 14 Bcf in nonsaltcavern facilities since the previousweek.
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