The U.S.Energy Information Administration reported a net 64-Bcf injection into natural gasinventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended July 8 that was above market expectationsbut well below historical averages.
The injectionwas above the market consensusahead of the report's release that called for a 58-Bcf build in stocks, and wasbelow both the 95-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2015 and the five-yearaverage injection of 77 Bcf.
The buildbrought total U.S. working gas supply to 3,243 Bcf, or 507 Bcf above the year-agolevel and 586 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 2,657 Bcf.
Justahead of the report's 10:30 a.m. ET release, the August natural gas futures contractwas trading modestly higher at $2.742/MMBtu, up 0.5 cent on the session. Despitethe upside miss against consensus expectations, the market held the pre-releasetrading range established at $2.726/MMBtu at the low and $2.769/MMBtu at the high,trading last at $2.759/MMBtu, 2.2 cents higher.
In theEast, inventories were up 24 Bcf on the week at 678 Bcf, or 12.6% above the year-agolevel. Storage levels in the Midwest were up 21 Bcf at 785 Bcf, or 30.2% above theyear-ago level. In the Mountain region, storage levels were up 6 Bcf on the weekto 208 Bcf, or 28.4% above the year-ago level, while in the Pacific region, storagelevels were up 6 Bcf at 319 Bcf, or 4.2% below the year-ago level. In the SouthCentral region, where storage levels were up a net 7 Bcf on the week, stocks areat a surplus of 20.9% to a year earlier.
Workinggas stocks in the South Central region totaled 1,253 Bcf, with 355 Bcf in salt cavernfacilities and with 898 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilities. Working gas stocks wereup 1 Bcf in the salt cavern facilities and up 5 Bcf in non-salt cavern facilitiessince the previous week.
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