The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Thursday that natural gas storage inventories decreased by -219 Bcf for the week ending February 20, 2015. Consensus estimates for the withdrawal were -237 Bcf.
Natural gas prices reacted immediately to the report as the prices for April ’15 futures fell after the report’s release.
The EIA also reported that total stocks of natural gas (1,938 Bcf) were still higher than one year ago (1,362 Bcf) and dipped again below the 5-year average (1,968 Bcf). The withdrawal erased last week’s surplus of 58 Bcf in comparison to the five year average. The deficit in comparison to the five year average now stands at -30 Bcf.
Traders and investors will now turn their attention to weather forecasts in mid-March. Current forecast models show a warm-up occurring after March 8, which is expected to begin the wind-down of the withdrawal season.
Likewise, traders and investors will focus on Baker Hughes Rig Count report Friday to determine if the ongoing oil slump has reduced the number of natural gas rigs as well.
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