Friday, August 15, 2008

Natural Gas Inventory Up - Price Down a Bit


Natural gas in storage in the U.S. rose last week, but supplies are just shy of the five-year average for this time of year, a government report said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural-gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states rose by 50 billion cubic feet to 2.567 trillion cubic feet for the week ending August 14.

The inventory level was just below the five-year average of 2.573 trillion cubic feet, and well below last year's storage level of 2.897 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Analysts surveyed by energy research firm Platts expected a build to natural-gas storage of between 50 billion and 55 billion cubic feet for the week.

"An injection above expectations or well above last years build or the five-year average could bring natural gas prices lower because it means the industry is better prepared for higher gas consumption during the winter season.," the Platts report said.

Natural gas for September delivery fell 11.1 cents to $8.345 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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