By Maria Sanchez
Natural gas storage inventories went down by 34 Bcf for the week ended Dec. 11, per EIA. The draw was below market expectations, which were calling for a 40-Bcf decline in stocks. The draw was also smaller than historical figures; a 61-Bcf draw was reported during the same week in 2014. The 5-year average for the week is a 120-Bcf withdrawal.
On a regional basis, only half the regions reported net draws for the week, while the West (Mountain and Pacific) reported no change in inventories and the non-salt facilities in the Gulf (South Central) showed a build of 3 Bcf.
U.S. storage inventories continue to set record 5-year highs every week. Today’s 34-Bcf draw brings inventories down to 3.846 Tcf, which is 16% above 2014, 9% above the 5-year average, and 2% higher than the prior 5-year max.
Natural gas futures prices remain trading at sub $2.00/MMBtu levels, at just above $1.80 as of this writing, but are slightly higher on the day.