EIA’s natural gas inventories
On July 27, 2017, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its weekly natural gas inventory report. US natural gas inventories rose by 17 Bcf (billion cubic feet) or 0.6% to 2,990 Bcf on July 14–21, 2017. Inventories fell 9.2% from the same period in 2016.
A Global Platts survey estimated that US natural gas inventories would have risen by 22 Bcf on July 14–21, 2017. A lower-than-expected rise in US natural gas inventories supported natural gas (UNG) (DGAZ) (UGAZ) prices on July 27, 2017.
US natural gas inventories by region
The movements in natural gas inventories for the storage regions on July 14–21, 2017, are as follows:
- East – rose by 17 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 626 Bcf
- Midwest – rose by 11 Bcf to 744 Bcf
- Mountain – rose by three Bcf to 197 Bcf
- Pacific – rose by two Bcf to 294 Bcf
- South Central – fell by 16 Bcf to 1,129 Bcf
US natural gas inventories have fallen 28% from the peak. In March 2017, inventories were 21.0% higher than their five-year average. US natural gas inventories are 3.9% above their five-year average for the week ending July 21, 2017. It indicates that inventories are slowing. US natural gas inventories are slowing due to the fall in natural gas production. To learn more about monthly natural gas production, read US Natural Gas Production Is near a 2-Year Low.
Some traders think that US natural gas inventories might fall below the five-year average by December 2017. The fall in US natural gas inventories would help natural gas prices.
In the next part, we’ll discuss whether the US natural gas rig count drives gas prices.