The EIA reported a net gas storage withdrawal of 119 BCF this morning for the week ending January 20, 2017. This week’s report was slightly above the market’s expectation which was centered around a 117 BCF withdrawal. It is bearish against 202 BCF withdrawn in this same week last year and against the five year average for this week which is a withdrawal of 176 BCF.
February 2017 NYMEX natural gas futures are currently $0.15/MMBtu higher at $3.48/MMBtu. The February contract expires at the close of trading on Friday. Gas futures have been supported in the past week by weather forecasts that predict a shift to colder temperatures across most of North America over the next week. It won’t be too long before the market starts to focus more on the transition to Spring and the rebuilding of storage inventories.
March 2017 NYMEX crude oil futures are currently $1.21 higher at $53.96/Bbl. Oil has been higher in the past week despite increases to US storage inventories and action by the Trump Administration which is very supportive of domestic oil production. Permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline are being reconsidered and a host of other actions have been announced to promote domestic energy independence.
Natural gas inventories currently stand at 2,798 BCF which is 348 BCF less than from this same week last year and 20 BCF below the five year average.