The U.S. Energy Information Administration released in its weekly report that stored inventories grew by 37 billion cubic feet, exceeding the forecast of a 32 bcf injection. The growth brought the total amount of stored natural gas to 3.831 trillion cubic feet, just shy of last year’s record of 3.837 tcf. With more growth in stored inventories expected this month, it appears likely that available supplies will exceed the record level set last year.
As a result, natural gas futures fell again Thursday 2.6 cents, or 0.7%, to $3.626 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices had already hit a record low the day before for the front-month December contract.
Gas futures are suffering from a supply glut, down 30% in the last three months with high production levels and mild winter weather suppressing demand. Natural gas is a key component of power generation, and demand rises and falls as people heat or cool their homes.
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