The U.S. government is set to release the latest data on natural gas inventories, which is expected to reveal a reduced pace of increase. Despite this slowdown, national stockpiles continue to fall closer to historic levels.
According to a survey of 10 analysts, brokers, and traders conducted by The Wall Street Journal, the Energy Information Administration is expected to report a 79.8 billion cubic feet increase in gas storage during the week ended Oct. 13. The estimates range from 76 bcf to 84 bcf. Comparatively, last year saw a rise of 113 bcf during the same week, and the average increase over the past five years stands at 85 bcf.
The EIA is scheduled to release its natural gas storage data for the week on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
If the projected 79.8-bcf increase holds true, gas stockpiles would reach approximately 3.61 trillion cubic feet. This represents an 8.5% increase from last year's total at this time and a surplus of 4.6% compared to the five-year average.
Factors Affecting Inventory Levels
Record high natural gas production earlier this year, coupled with a mild winter and slowing economic activity, caused a dent in demand. As a result, the inventory surplus reached 24% above normal in the spring. However, consumption has risen during this year's hot summer while production has fallen in recent weeks, leading to a gradual narrowing of the inventory surplus.