U.S. natural gas build again underwhelms with injection below 100 bcf - EIA

May 25, 2023 12:05 PM EDT -- U.S. natural gas storage rose by 96 billion cubic feet, or bcf, last week, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said Thursday, announcing for a second straight time a weekly injection below 100 bcf that suggested the oversupplied market may be turning the corner on fundamentals.

In the previous week to May 12, the EIA reported a 99-bcf build in natural gas inventories.

Industry analysts tracked by had forecast a 108 bcf for both that week and the latest week to May 19.

With the latest stockpile increase, the EIA reported that total gas in underground caverns in the United States stood at 2.336 trillion cubic feet, or tcf — up 29.3% from the year-ago level of 1.807 tcf and 17% higher than the five-year average of 1.996 tcf.

Notwithstanding the smaller-than-expected build, U.S. gas futures fell in Thursday’s session as traders responded instead to signs that Canadian gas supplies — disrupted over the past week by wildfires — have been normalizing as firefighters took control of the blazes in Alberta.

By 11:25 ET, the front-month gas contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Henry Hub was at $2.49 per mmBtu, or million metric British thermal units — just below the key $2.50 psychological mark. It earlier hit a session low of $2.476.

The benchmark gas contract hit a 11-week high of $2.707 on Monday, breaking out from the tight confines of mid-$2 pricing on the notion that the market may finally be turning the corner on fundamentals despite its oversupplied state.

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