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Natural Gas Futures Turn Lower After Weekly Storage Data

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November 16th, 2017
U.S. natural gas futures reversed gains on Thursday to trade lower despite data showing that domestic supplies in storage fell for the first time this season.

U.S. natural gas futures shed around 0.3 cents, or about 0.1%, to $3.080 per million British thermal units by 10:55AM ET (1555GMT). Futures were at around $3.091 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. fell by 18 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Nov. 10, compared to forecasts for a withdrawal of 14 billion. It was the first weekly decline since March.

That compared with a gain of 15 bcf in the preceding week, a build of 30 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 12 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.772 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 271 bcf, or around 6.7%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 101 bcf, or roughly 2.6%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

Analysts estimated the amount of gas in storage would end the April-October injection season at 3.8 tcf due primarily to higher liquefied natural gas shipments abroad. That would fall short of the year-earlier record of 4.0 tcf and the five-year average of 3.9 tcf.

Futures ended lower for the third day in a row on Wednesday amid forecasts for less heating demand through the end of this month.

Gas futures often reach a seasonal low in late October and early November, when mild weather weakens demand, before recovering in the winter, when heating-fuel use peaks.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.


See Also: Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Heating Oil, Unleaded Gas, Ethanol, Gasoline Blendstock