Natural gas in storage fell 151 billion cubic feet in the January 6 week to 3,160 bcf. Although weekly declines are the norm in the current drawdown phase of the annual cycle, the larger than average decline put stocks 10.3 percent below the year ago level and 0.1 percent below the 5-year average. Gas in storage remains within the 5-year historical range, however.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on natural gas stocks in underground storage for the U.S. and three regions of the country. The level of inventories helps determine prices for natural gas products.
Natural gas product prices are determined by supply and demand - just like any other good and service. During periods of strong economic growth, one would expect demand to be robust. If inventories are low, this will lead to increases in natural gas. If inventories are high and rising in a period of strong demand, prices may not need to increase at all, or as much. During a period of sluggish economic activity, demand for natural gas may not be as strong. If inventories are rising, this may push down oil prices.