Natural Gas Inventory Decline, Price Dips Sharply

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks rose by a total of 4 billion cubic feet, slightly more than the 9 to 13 billion cubic feet withdrawal that analysts were expecting. Natural gas futures prices were about 2% lower in advance of the EIA's report at around $3.73 per thousand cubic feet, and fell further to around $3.65 immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 3.88 trillion cubic feet, about 190 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 3.68 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.85 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Milder weather kept withdrawals in check last week. Working gas in storage remains above the high end of the 5-year average.

Here's how stocks of the largest U.S. natural gas producers are reacting to today's report:

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country's largest producer of natural gas, is up about 0.2% at $88.24 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is up about 1% at $17.62 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.16.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up about 1% at $117.57 in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $124.49.

The US Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down about 3.5% at $20.95 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $32.48. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up about 0.9% at $38.52 in a 52-week range of $36.01 to $45.14. The first fund tracks spot prices; the second includes major drillers and services companies.

Paul Ausick


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Oil & Gas, Research Tagged: CHK, EOG, OIH, UNG, XOM
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