EIA natural gas inventory report
The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) published the weekly natural gas report on September 3, 2015. The US agency reported that the natural gas inventory rose by 94 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 3,193 Bcf for the week ending August 28, 2015. Likewise, natural gas stocks rose by 69 Bcf to 3,099 Bcf for the week ending August 21, 2015.
Natural gas inventory estimates
For the week ending August 28, 2015, the natural gas inventory rose for the 22nd straight week. The natural gas inventory rose despite warm weather estimates. This implies that supplies are rising. The widening gap between supply and demand will continue to put pressure on natural gas prices.
Market surveys estimated by Bloomberg projected that the natural gas stockpile could rise by 90 Bcf for the week ending August 28, 2015. The larger-than-anticipated natural gas inventory rise dragged natural gas prices lower ahead of the inventory data release.
Currently, the natural gas inventory is 18% higher than the levels of 2,698 Bcf in 2014. It’s also 4% above the five-year average stockpile of 3,071 Bcf. The rising production and record inventory could continue to put pressure on natural gas prices despite the warm weather forecast. The spike in natural gas prices due to the warm weather could be short-lived.
Yesterday’s rise in natural prices could benefit natural gas producers like EQT (EQT), Cimarex Energy (XEC), and Devon Energy (DVN). They account for 3.74% of the SPDR Oil and Gas ETF (XOP). These stocks’ natural gas production mix is more than 43% of their production portfolio.
Oil and gas ETFs like the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and XOP are also affected by rising natural gas prices.