Natural Gas Price Holds Loss Level Steady After Storage Report

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday morning that U.S. natural gas stockpiles increased by 81 billion cubic feet for the week ending October 12.

Analysts were expecting a storage injection of around 82 billion to 89 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is an injection of 79 billion cubic feet, and last year’s storage increase for the week totaled 51 billion cubic feet. Natural gas inventories rose by 90 billion cubic feet in the week ending October 5.

Natural gas futures for November delivery traded down about seven cents in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $3.25 per million BTUs, and remained at about that level after the report was released.

For the period between October 18 and October 24, predicts “high” demand and offers the following outlook:

A weather system lingers over Texas and the South today where highs will only reach the 40s to 60s with heavy showers continuing. Chilly conditions linger across the Great Lakes and Northeast with lows of 20s and 30s. A milder break is expected across much of the country Friday into Saturday ahead of the next cold shot arriving into the northern and east-central US Saturday through Tuesday where lows will again drop into the 20s and 30s. The West will see a mix of mild and warm due to high pressure overhead.

Total U.S. stockpiles increased slightly week over week to 167.5% below last year’s level and also rose slightly to 16.6% below the five-year average.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 3.037 trillion cubic feet at the end of last week, around 605 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 3.642 trillion cubic feet and 601 billion cubic feet below last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 3.638 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 today’s report:

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, traded up about 0.8%, at $82.17 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) traded down about 0.7%, at $4.67 in a 52-week range of $2.53 to $5.60.
  • EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) traded down about 1.0% to $118.99. The 52-week range is $95.36 to $133.53.

Furthermore, the United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEARCA: UNG) traded down about 1.9%, at $26.96 in a 52-week range of $20.40 to $27.65.

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