The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled nearly 2.85 trillion cubic feet, about 34 billion cubic feet lower than the five-year average of 2.88 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.1921 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago. Natural gas inventories remain roughly in the middle of the five-year range.
In the same week last year, natural gas inventories rose by 28 billion cubic feet and the five-year average build for the week is 47 billion cubic feet.
A poll of commodity analysts has raised the expected average price of natural gas in 2013 from $3.84 per million BTUs to $3.87. The earlier poll was taken in April.
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 down 1.9%, at $91.89 in a 52-week range of $84.70 to $95.49. Exxon also reported poor second-quarter earnings earlier this morning.
EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up 3.2% to $150.16, after posting a new 52-week high of $151.01 earlier this morning. The 52-week low is $95.28.
The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down 1.7%, at $17.90 in a 52-week range of $17.38 to $24.09. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up 1.6%, at $45.54 in a 52-week range of $36.24 to $46.78. The first fund tracks spot prices; the second includes major drillers and services companies.