Natural Gas Futures Drop on Large Increase in Supply

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks increased by 82 billion cubic feet last week, within the range for an expected build of between 80 billion and 84 billion cubic feet anticipated by analysts. Natural gas futures prices were down less than 0.1% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $3.66 per million BTUs, and fell to around $3.64 immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled nearly 2.69 trillion cubic feet, about 22 billion cubic feet lower than the five-year average of 2.71 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.1 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago. Natural gas inventories remain roughly in the middle of the five-year range.

Rising temperatures across most of the United States are expected in the coming week, and that is expected to boost demand for cooling. In the same week last year, natural gas inventories rose by 34 billion cubic feet and the five-year average build for the week is 71 billion cubic feet.

Here is 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 up 0.6%, at $93.37 in a 52-week range of $83.32 to $93.80. The high was set today following on yesterday’s report on petroleum inventories.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is up 0.31%, at $21.33 in a 52-week range of $16.23 to $22.97.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up 2.3%, at $145.65 in a 52-week range of $88.75 to $146.79. The high was posted today.

The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down 1.65%, at $19.12 in a 52-week range of $17.38 to $24.09. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up 0.8%, at $45.20 in a 52-week range of $34.93 to $45.80. The first fund tracks spot prices; the second includes major drillers and services companies.

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