The US Energy Information Administration today reported the US natural gas stocks rose by a total of 42 billion cubic feet, above the 33-37 billion cubic feet increase that analysts had expected. Natural gas prices responded by falling about -2% to about $2.10/thousand cubic feet.
The EIA reported that US working stocks of natural gas totaled 2.48 trillion cubic feet, about 934 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 1.55 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 1.6 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
A warm winter, continued production increases, and now a usually low-demand period are likely to keep natural gas prices depressed at least through April and perhaps even into May. At this point, even a warmer-than-usual summer may not be enough to jack up prices for natural gas.
US natural gas stocks are about 57% higher than they were a year ago and more than 60% higher than the 5-year average. This situation does not augur well for significant gains in prices for producers.