Natural Gas Prices Unmoved on 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 171 billion cubic feet last week, slightly more than the decline of 167 billion cubic feet anticipated by analysts. Natural gas futures prices were up fractionally in advance of the EIA's report, at around $3.45 per million BTUs, and remained essentially flat immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 2.23 trillion cubic feet, about 308 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 1.92 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 2.54 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Natural gas prices have been getting a boost from nuclear power plant outages of around 16,000 megawatts this past week. Natural gas-fired plants typically respond to outages in nuclear power generation. Weather forecasts for the next 10 days call for continuing colder temperatures in the Midwest.

Here is 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 0.4%, at $89.21 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is down 0.2%, at $20.10 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) is down 0.5%, at $127.54 in a 52-week range of $82.48 to $138.20.

The U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEMKT: UNG) is up 1.4%m at $19.09 in a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.38. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is up 0.1%, at $42.98 in a 52-week range of $32.54 to $45.12. 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