Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gas Inventories Up

Analysts and traders expect government data scheduled for release Thursday to show another above-average build pushing natural gas inventories to last fall's levels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to report that 73 billion cubic feet of gas were added to storage during the week ended Oct. 22, according to the average prediction of 16 analysts and traders in a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
The EIA is scheduled to release its storage data Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT).
The survey's median result was 74 billion cubic feet, with a high estimate of a 92-bcf build and a low of a 60-bcf injection. The storage estimate is higher than last year's 24-bcf build in storage for the same week and the 45-bcf five-year average build for that week.
If the storage estimate is correct, inventories as of this past Friday will total 3.756 trillion cubic feet, 9.1% above the five-year average and nearly in line with the year's level for the same week.
The last six weeks of storage builds have been above average, narrowing the gap between this year's level and last November's when U.S. storage hit an all-time high of 3.837 tcf.
Last fall's build was attributed to weak demand from commercial and industrial users hard-hit by the recession. Blame for the current swell falls on warmer-than-normal temperatures and a rosy outlook in the futures market, which "has been creating plenty of financial incentive to put gas in the ground," said analyst Martin King, an analyst with First Energy Capital.
The EIA's weekly storage page is

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