By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com — Utilities drew a slightly higher level of natural gas than forecast from U.S. storage last week, the Energy Information Administration said in an inventory report on Thursday that looked unlikely to do much for the bull case in gas.
There were 84 billion cubic feet pulled from natural gas storage for heating and electricity generation purposes during the week ended March 3, versus the 80 bcf consumption forecast on the average by analysts tracked by Investing.com. Gas draws over the past three weeks, including the 81 bcf witnessed in the prior week to Feb. 24, have been below seasonal norms.
The front-month April gas contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Henry Hub was down 0.3 cents, or 0.1%, at $2.548 per mmBtu, or metric million British thermal units, some 20 minutes after the release of the inventory report. Prior to the report, April gas traded as high as $2.643.
A mostly warm 2022/23 winter has led to considerably less heating demand in the United States versus the norm, leaving more gas in storage than initially thought.
Responding to the warmth and lackluster storage draws, gas prices plunged from a 14-year high of $10 per mmBtu in August, reaching $7 in December before trading mostly at mid-$2 levels over the past month.