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US NATURAL GAS STORAGE VOLUME FALLS 359 BCF TO 2.767 TCF: EIA

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US NATURAL GAS STORAGE VOLUME FALLS 359 BCF TO 2.767 TCF: EIA

The amount of natural gas in US storage facilities decreased 359 Bcf to2.767 Tcf in the week that ended January 5, the US Energy InformationAdministration said Thursday.

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The withdrawal was 6.5% larger than the expectations of an S&P GlobalPlatts survey of analysts, which called for a 337-Bcf withdrawal. Results fromthe survey ranged from withdrawals of 324 Bcf to 365 Bcf.

The pull was more than double the 138 Bcf withdrawal reported in thecorresponding week in 2017 as well as the five-year average pull of 169 Bcf,according to EIA data. It was the largest withdrawal ever reported, shatteringthe previous record of 288 Bcf set in January 2014.

As a result, stocks were 415 Bcf, or 13%, below the year-ago level of3.182 Tcf and 382 Bcf, or 12.1%, under the five-year average of 3.149 Tcf aswell.

The NYMEX February gas futures contract jumped 10.9 cents to $3.015/MMBtuin the minutes following the 10:30 am EST storage announcement.

The EIA reported a 76-Bcf withdrawal in the East to drop inventories to664 Bcf, compared with 704 Bcf a year ago; a 97-Bcf pull in the Midwest tocrop regional stocks to 778 Bcf, compared with 873 Bcf a year ago; a 16-Bcfdraw in the Mountain region to trim inventories to 167 Bcf, compared with 198Bcf a year ago; a 17 Bcf draw in the Pacific to cut stocks to 251 Bcf,compared with 265 Bcf a year ago; and a 153-Bcf withdrawal in theSouth-Central region to slash stocks to 907 Bcf, compared with 1.142 Tcf ayear ago.

Total inventories are now 69 Bcf below the five-year average of 733 Bcfin the East, 70 Bcf under the five-year average of 848 Bcf in the Midwest, 11Bcf lower than the five-year average of 178 Bcf in the Mountain region, 42 Bcfless than the five-year average of 293 Bcf in the Pacific, and 191 Bcf lowerthan the five-year average of 1.098 Tcf in the South Central region.

--Brandon Evans, bevans@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com