Natural Gas Price Dips After Increase to US Supply

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday morning that U.S. natural gas stocks increased by 62 billion cubic feet for the week ending April 27.

Analysts were expecting a storage injection of around 47 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is an injection of 69 billion cubic feet, and last year’s storage increase for the week totaled 67 billion cubic feet. Natural gas inventories fell by 18 billion cubic feet in the week ending April 20.

Natural gas futures for May delivery traded down about 0.9% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $2.73 per million BTUs, and moved down further to around $2.71 shortly after the report was released.

The forecast for overall natural gas demand next week moves into the “low” range as warmer weather predominates in the southern and eastern parts of the country. After some mixed cooler, wetter weather into the weekend, the rest of the country should also register warmer temperatures.

Total U.S. stockpiles rose slightly week over week to 40.2% below last year’s level and are now 28.4% below the five-year average.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 1.343 trillion cubic feet at the end of last week, around 534 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.877 trillion cubic feet and 903 billion cubic feet below last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 2.246 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Here’s how share prices of the largest U.S. natural gas producers reacted to the latest report:

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, traded down about 1.4%, at $75.74 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) traded down about 1.6%, at $2.88 in a 52-week range of $2.53 to $5.87.
  • EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) traded down about 1.7% to $114.67. The 52-week range is $81.99 to $119.71.

In addition, the United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEARCA: UNG) traded down about 1.7%, at $22.11 in a 52-week range of $20.40 to $31.72.

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