The Energy Information Administration Thursday reported natural gas held in U.S. storage decreased a less-than-expected 48 Bcf in the week ending March 6 to 2.043 Tcf. That is up 796 Bcf or 63.8% from the same time in 2019 and 227 Bcf or 12.5% above the five-year average of 1.816 Tcf.
The 48 Bcf draw compares with a 164 Bcf pull reported in the same week last year and a five-year average decline of 99 Bcf, agency data shows.
- Natural gas supplies in the Midwest region dropped 29 Bcf in the week ended March 6 to 529 Bcf while East region stocks declined 25 Bcf at 426 Bcf. Versus five-year average levels, Midwest region supplies are up 105 Bcf or 24.8% and East region are up 73 Bcf or 20.7%.
- South Central region natural gas stocks increased 7 Bcf in the week at 791 Bcf, which is up 294 Bcf or 59.2% from the same time last year while 64 Bcf or 8.8% above the five-year average of 727 Bcf.
- Natural gas inventories in the Pacific region rose 3 Bcf in the week at 200 Bcf while Mountain region stocks dropped 4 Bcf to 97 Bcf. Versus five-year average levels, Pacific region natural gas stocks are near flat, up 1 Bcf or 0.5%, while Mountain region inventories are down 15 Bcf or 13.4%.
The EIA in its March Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts U.S. natural gas stocks will build at a rate close to the five-year average during the upcoming injection season to reach almost 4 Tcf at the end of October, which is about 6% more than the five-year average for that time of year.