US natural gas rig count
On Friday, June 5, 2015, Baker Hughes released the weekly natural gas rig count report. As expected, natural gas rigs fell by three to 222 for the week ending June 5. In contrast, gas rigs rose by three for the week ending May 29, 2015. Natural gas rig counts are 98 lower than the 320 active gas rigs in 2014. The current rigs are also 57% lower than the levels last year.
EIA stockpile report
Last week, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that the weekly gas stockpile rose by 132 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 2,233 Bcf for the week ending May 29, 2015. The market consensus was for the stockpile to increase by 125 Bcf for the week ending May 29. The higher-than-expected stockpile dragged natural gas prices lower.
The current inventories are 50% more than the levels in 2014. Also, they’re 1% more than the five-year average stockpile of 2,211 Bcf. The next EIA report is expected to release on Thursday, June 11, 2015
Slowing demand and rising stockpile estimates will continue to put pressure on the natural gas market in the short term.