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US Natural Gas Inventories Are Higher than Their 5-Year Average


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

EIA’s natural gas inventories 

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its weekly natural gas inventory report on March 9, 2017. It reported that US natural gas inventories fell by 68 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 2,295 Bcf between February 24, 2017, and March 3, 2017.

However, US natural gas inventories hit 4,047 Bcf for the week ending November 11, 2016—the highest level ever. Moves in inventories impact natural gas (FCG) (BOIL) (GASL) prices. For more on natural gas prices and the weather, read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

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A Wall Street Journal survey estimated that US natural gas inventories would have fallen by 61 Bcf between February 24, 2017, and March 3, 2017. Natural gas (UNG) (DGAZ) prices rose on March 9, 2017, due to a larger-than-expected draw in natural gas inventories. For more on prices, read Part 1 of this series.

The five-year average natural gas withdrawal for this period is 136 Bcf. Natural gas inventories fell by 57 Bcf during the same period in 2016. They rose by 7 Bcf in the week ending February 24, 2017.

What’s the impact?  

For the week ending March 3, 2017, US natural gas inventories are 18.8% higher than their five-year average. High inventories could pressure natural gas prices. However, cold weather could drive prices in the short term. For more on the weather, read the previous part of the series.

Volatility in natural gas prices impacts oil and gas producers’ profitability such as Southwestern Energy (SWN), Gulfport Energy (GPOR), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), and EXCO Resources (XCO).

Next, we’ll take a look at US natural gas inventories by region. We’ll also look at the US natural gas inventory forecast for March 2017.


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