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204-Bcf draw from Lower 48 gas storage comes slightly below expectations

Natural gas storage operators drew a net 204 Bcf from Lower 48 inventories in the week to March 8, versus the five-year-average draw of 99 Bcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The draw, which came in right around an S&P Global Platts analyst survey's expected 208 Bcf withdraw, brought total working gas supply to 1,186 Bcf, or 359 Bcf below the year-ago level and 569 Bcf below the five-year average.

By region:

* In the East, inventories slid 49 Bcf on the week at 262 Bcf, 18% under a year earlier.

* In the Midwest, stockpiles were down 51 Bcf at 287 Bcf, 19% below the year-ago level.

* In the Mountain region, stockpiles dropped 7 Bcf at 66 Bcf, down 30% from the year before.

* In the Pacific region, inventories declined 10 Bcf at 102 Bcf, down 40% from the year-ago level.

* In the South Central region, stockpiles declined 88 Bcf at 469 Bcf, 23% below the year before.

Of that total, 129 Bcf of gas was in salt cavern facilities and 340 Bcf was non-salt cavern. Working gas stocks dropped 28% in salt cavern facilities from the previous week and dropped 9.8% in non-salt cavern facilities.

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