The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks declined by 118 billion cubic feet last week, less than expected drop in the range of 125 billion to 158 billion cubic feet. Natural gas futures prices were down slightly in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $3.41 per million BTUs, and dropped further to around $3.37 immediately following the EIA report.
The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 2.68 trillion cubic feet, about 351 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 2.33 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 2.91 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
Weather forecasts for the next 10 days call for colder temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast for a few days before moderating again. A longer range forecast indicates warmer temperatures are expected in the heavily populated eastern part of the country.
Here’s how stocks of the largest U.S. natural gas producers are reacting to today’s report:
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, is down 1.1% at $88.20, in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is down 0.7% at $20.37, in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09.
EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is down 0.6% at $128.90, in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $129.92, a high posted last week.
The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down 2.7% at $18.83, in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.38. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is down about 0.1% at $43.07, 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.