The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks rose by a total of 28 billion cubic feet, at the lower end of an expected increase in the 28 billion to 32 billion cubic foot range. Natural gas futures prices are about 1% higher this morning, at $2.94/thousand cubic feet.
The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 3.16 trillion cubic feet, about 470 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 2.69 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 2.65 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
U.S. natural gas inventories are about 19% higher than they were a year ago and nearly 18% higher than the 5-year average. Both figures are lower than they were a week ago.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, is down about 0.4% at $85.79, in a 52-week range of $67.03 to $87.94. Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) flat at $19.20, in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $35.75. EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up about 1.5% at $98.13, in a 52-week range of $66.81 to $119.97.
The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is up about 0.8% at $20.29, in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $46.00. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up about 0.9% at $37.86, in a 52-week range of $32.54 to $45.14. The first fund tracks spot prices; the second includes major drillers and services companies.