The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks declined by 127 billion cubic feet last week, slightly higher than the decline of 122 billion cubic feet anticipated by analysts. Natural gas futures prices were fractionally in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $3.28 per million BTUs, and rose to about $3.31 immediately following the EIA report.
The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 2.4 trillion cubic feet, about 361 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 2.04 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 2.64 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.
Weather forecasts for the next 10 days call for colder temperatures in the Midwest. Low temperatures in the east earlier this week caused a jump in spot natural gas prices on most of the major pipelines serving the region.
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 0.2%, at $88.79 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is up 0.8%, at $20.41 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09. The company reported earnings this morning before markets opened.
EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is down 1.3%, at $125.72 in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $138.20.
The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is up 0.2%, at $18.36 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.38. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is down 1.6%, at $42.67 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.