Natural Gas Price Falls After Inventory Report

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 194 billion cubic feet last week, below an average expected drop of around 206 billion cubic feet. Natural gas futures prices were slightly lower in advance of the EIA's report at around $3.32 per million BTUs, and dropped sharply to around $3.25 immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 2.8 trillion cubic feet, about 304 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 2.5 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Weather forecasts for the next 10 days call for warmer temperatures across most of the United States and near-normal temperatures along the East and West Coasts. If that forecast proves out, demand for natural gas will be no better than steady. A lot depends on demand from commercial and industrial users.

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 down fractionally, at $90.66 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is down 0.9%, at $19.93 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is down 1%, at $125.02, in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $129.43, a high posted last week.

The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is down 2.7%, at $18.27 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.38. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up about 0.5%, at $43.46 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, featured, OIH, UNG, XOM