The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday morning that U.S. natural gas stocks increased by 73 billion cubic feet for the week ending October 21. Analysts were expecting a storage addition of around 73 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is an injection of around 76 billion cubic feet, and last year’s storage addition for the week totaled 62 billion cubic feet. Natural gas inventories rose by 77 billion cubic feet in the week ending October 14.
Natural gas futures for November delivery traded down about 1% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $2.74 per million BTUs, and traded near $2.72 after the data release. Natural gas closed at $2.73 per million BTUs on Wednesday, after posting a five-day high last Thursday of $3.20. The 52-week range for natural gas is $2.17 to $3.37. One year ago the price for a million BTUs was around $2.66.
Warmer-than-average temperatures have weighed on natural gas prices for the past two weeks. The November contract reached a 52-week high of $3.37 per thousand cubic feet just two weeks ago.
In the near term, demand for natural gas is expected to be low for the next week as warm temperatures continue around the country.
Stockpiles remain about 1.3% above their levels of a year ago and 4.9% above the five-year average.
The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 3.909 trillion cubic feet, around 182 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.727 trillion cubic feet and 52 billion cubic feet above last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 3.857 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
Here’s how share prices of the largest U.S. natural gas producers reacting to this latest report:
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, traded up about 0.2%, at $87.31 in a 52-week range of $71.55 to $95.55.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) traded up about 0.9% to $6.05. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.50 to $8.15.
EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) traded up about 0.2% to $92.31. The 52-week range is $57.15 to $98.32.
Also, the United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEMKT: UNG) traded down about 0.6%, at $8.14 in a 52-week range of $5.78 to $10.10.