Natural Gas Inventory Exceeds Five-Year Average
Working natural gas in storage has surpassed five-year average levels for the first time in more than a year, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). At 2,157 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of February 13, stocks are 58 Bcf greater than the five-year average.
Extremely cold weather may result in high stock withdrawals in late February and could cause stocks to dip below their five-year average; however, natural gas production in February and March, which is forecast to average 5 Bcf/day more than it did a year ago, is likely to contribute to healthy inventories and moderate prices as the nation moves from winter into spring.
While there were several near-record withdrawals early this heating season, withdrawals so far this season have been significantly lower than last winter’s record levels, and 16 percent lower than the five-year average. Recent production growth and moderate demand have led to increased storage and relatively low prices. The most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook projects inventories will end the injection season at 1,699 Bcf—43 Bcf more than the five-year average.