Working natural gas storage has surpassed five-year average levels for the first time in more than a year, reports the Energy Information Administration (EIA). At 2,157 Bcf as of February 13, stocks are 58 Bcf greater than the five-year average.

The last time inventories surpassed the five-year average was in November of 2013. Inventories ended the 2013-2014 winter withdrawal season last March at a 10-year record low of 837 Bcf.

Despite several near-record withdrawals early this heating season, overall withdrawals this season have bee...

Analyst Commentary

Raymond James Equity Research 02.20.2015
This week's withdrawal comes in line with consensus forecast; y/y storage surplus continues to grow.

This week's reported withdrawal of 111 Bcf was in line with consensus and above the Raymond James estimate. This withdrawal implies that we were 1.0 Bcf/d looser than last year, and we have averaged 1.7 Bcf/d looser over the past four weeks. Moving into next week, we expect a ramp up in withdrawals with colder weather. At the end of last winter, the fear was not being able to add enough storage in preparation for this winter. However, this is clearly no longer the case in 2015. With the amount of supply flooding the market, we believe there will be ample storage as we move into the injection season, setting us up for a significant storage glut. Thus, we reiterate our bearish stance on natural gas prices.  

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