Natural gas stockpile data
On September 24, 2015, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its weekly natural gas stockpile data. The EIA reported that natural gas stockpile rose by 106 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 3,440 Bcf for the week ending September 18, 2015. Likewise, the natural gas in storage rose by 73 Bcf to 3,334 Bcf for the week ending September 11, 2015.
The natural gas inventory rose for the 25th consecutive week for the week ending September 18, 2015. The rising natural gas production and fading warm weather led to the rise in the natural gas stockpile. The industry surveys estimated that the natural gas inventory could rise by 97 Bcf for the week ending September 18, 2015. The larger-than-expected inventory rise was already factored into the natural gas prices. Prices fell for the sixth time in the last seven days.
The current natural gas stocks are 15.70% more than the level of 2,974 Bcf in 2014. They’re also 4.50% more than the five-year average of 3,292 Bcf. The five-year seasonal rise is at 83 Bcf. The natural gas stockpile rose by 90 Bcf during the same period in 2014.
The recent rise in natural gas prices benefits upstream players like Rice Energy (RICE), Southwestern Energy (SWN), and Cimarex Energy (XEC). These companies account for 3.55% of the SPDR Oil and Gas ETF (XOP). These stocks’ natural gas production mix is more than 43% of their total production. The rise in natural gas prices also impacts energy ETFs like the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and XOP.