Natural Gas Inventory Drop Sends Price Higher

Blue flames of a gas stove
Blue flames of a gas stove

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks declined by 148 billion cubic feet last week, above an average expected drop of around 137 billion to 141 billion cubic feet. Natural gas futures prices were slightly higher in advance of the EIA's report at around $3.42 per million BTUs, and rose to around $3.49 immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 3.17 trillion cubic feet, about 316 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 2.85 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.3 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Storage levels have fallen into the high end of the five-year range, even though the draw on stocks was well below last week's draw of 201 billion cubic feet. Gas prices remain about 11% below recent highs around $3.93 per thousand cubic feet.

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 0.7% at $90.05 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is up about 1.8% at $17.61 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is up fractionally at $125.46, in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $126.45.

The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is up 2.3% at $19.75 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.92. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up about 0.3% at $41.03 in a 52-week range of $32.54 to $45.14. The first fund tracks spot prices; the second includes major drillers and services companies.

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

Originally published