US natural gas inventories by region
The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) divides the US into the following five natural gas storage regions:
- South Central
Below are the movements in natural gas inventories for the storage regions from January 20–27, 2017.
- East – fell 27 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 569 Bcf
- Midwest – fell 27 Bcf to 730 Bcf
- Mountain – fell 9 Bcf to 164 Bcf
- Pacific – fell 14 Bcf to 221 Bcf
- South Central – fell 10 Bcf to 1,027 Bcf
Natural gas inventories and prices
US natural gas inventories are at 2,711 Bcf for the week ending January 27, 2017—9% lower than the same period in 2016, as we discussed in the previous part of this series. Sharper-than-average falls in US natural gas inventories during the winter season could support US natural gas (UNG) (BOIL) (UGAZ) (GASL) prices.
End of winter natural gas inventories
The EIA estimates that US natural gas inventories will be at 1,805 Bcf by the end of March 2017—3.3% lower than the five-year average. Falling US natural gas inventories at the end of the winter heating season could support natural gas prices in 2017. Inventories start to build again at the end of the winter. For more on inventories, read the previous part of this series.
The US natural gas rig count also plays a vital role in driving natural gas prices. We’ll discuss the US natural gas rig count in the next part.