Natural Gas Price Rises After Boost 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 89 billion cubic feet for the week ending April 27.

Analysts were expecting a storage injection of between 83 billion and 95 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is an injection of 75 billion cubic feet, and last year’s storage increase for the week totaled 45 billion cubic feet. Natural gas inventories rose by 62 billion cubic feet in the week ending April 27.

Natural gas futures for June delivery traded up about 1.8% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $2.76 per million BTUs, and moved higher to around $2.791 shortly after the report was released.

The forecast for overall natural gas demand next week remains in the “low” range as cooler, wetter weather predominates in the northern part of the county and warm to hot temperatures cover much of the rest of the United States.

Total U.S. stockpiles rose slightly week over week to 37.6% below last year’s level and are now 26.6% below the five-year average.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 1.432 trillion cubic feet at the end of last week, around 520 billion below the five-year average of 1.952 trillion and 863 billion below last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 2.295 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 this latest report:

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, traded up about 1.3%, at $80.98 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) traded up about 2.0% to $3.33, in a 52-week range of $2.86 to $3.34.
  • EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) traded up about 1% to $118.92. The 52-week range is $81.99 to $119.71.

The United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEARCA: UNG) traded up about 2.4%, at $22.83 in a 52-week range of $20.40 to $31.72.

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