The EIA reported a net gas storage withdrawal of 89 BCF this morning for the week ending February 17, 2017. This week’s report was above the market’s expectation which was centered around a 79 BCF withdrawal. It is bearish against 131 BCF withdrawn in this same week last year and against the five year average for this week which is a withdrawal of 158 BCF.
March 2017 NYMEX natural gas futures are currently $0.07/MMBtu higher at $2.67/MMBtu. Futures were lower in nine straight trading sessions before ticking up on Wednesday and again this morning after a nearly $0.30/MMBtu loss on Tuesday following the three day President’s Day holiday. Weather has been and is forecast to remain well above normal in key space heating markets. In a “normal” year the next three weeks would result in 400 BCF of cumulative gas withdrawal. Based on current forecasts the total is estimated to come in about 40% lower at 250 BCF.
March 2017 NYMEX crude oil futures are currently $1.14 higher at $54.72/Bbl. Oil futures continue to reflect an optimistic view that OPEC/Middle East oil cuts will rebalance the market and fundamentally support pricing. Time and hard evidence will be needed to determine if the market is truly moving in that direction or not.
Natural gas inventories currently stand at 2,356 BCF which is 261 BCF less than from this same week last year and 156 BCF above the five year average.