US: EIA Natural Gas Report

Thu Dec 07 09:30:00 CST 2017

Actual Previous
Weekly Change 2bcf -33bcf

Natural gas in storage rose 2 billion cubic feet in the December 1 week to 3,695 bcf. The first increase in four weeks, while marginal, is nevertheless unusual coming as it does during the fourth week of the heating season, when drawdowns are the norm. The small build contrasts with a 42 bcf drawdown in the same week last year and a 81 bcf average decline in the comparable 49th week over the last 5 years. Natural gas stocks nevertheless remain 6.7 percent below their level last year at this time, when they were exceptionally high due to inventory buildup caused by lower heating consumption in the preceding winter. In a longer term comparison, stocks are 1.0 percent below the 5-year average and are well within the 5-year historical range.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on natural gas stocks in underground storage for the U.S. and five 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 may lead to increases in natural gas prices. 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 natural gas prices.