Energy Business

Natural Gas Inventories Rise as Expected, Price Falling

Paul Ausick

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks rose by a total of 67 billion cubic feet, matching the build that analysts were expecting. Natural gas futures prices were slightly lower in advance of the EIA’s report at around $3.43 per thousand cubic feet, and fell by an additional 2% following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 3.84 trillion cubic feet, about 251 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 3.59 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.69 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

U.S. natural gas inventories are about 4% higher than they were a year ago and about 7% higher than the five-year average.

Natural gas futures prices are about 81% higher than they were at their low point of $1.90 per thousand cubic feet in April of this year. Working gas in storage remains above the high end of the five-year average.

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 up about 0.6% at $90.40 in a 52-week range of $73.90 to $93.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is up about 1.2% at $20.31 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $29.87.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up about 0.7% at $111.51 in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $119.97.

The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down about 1.3% at $21.91 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $36.16. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up about 0.7% at $39.12 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.

Paul Ausick