Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Supplies in U.S. Probably Rose More Than Average

October 11, 2011

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. natural-gas supplies probably rose more than average last week as mild weather limited demand for the heating fuel, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Inventories gained 102 billion cubic feet, or 3 percent, to 3.511 trillion cubic feet in the week ended Oct. 7, based on the median of eight estimates. The five-year average increase for the week is 72 billion, according to Energy Department data. Supplies climbed 90 billion cubic feet a year earlier,

Temperatures were in a normal range in the U.S. Northeast last week and were above normal in the Midwest, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. The low in New York on Oct. 5 was 53 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Celsius), 1 degree below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“The weather was pretty warm last week,” said Eric Bickel, an analyst at Summit Energy Services Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky, a subsidiary of Schneider Electric SA. “The supply side of the equation continues to provide upside to the storage number.”

About 52 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

The stockpile estimates ranged from increases of 83 billion to 112 billion cubic feet. The department’s weekly supply report is scheduled for release Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Stockpiles rose 97 billion cubic feet in the week ended Sept. 30 to 3.409 trillion cubic feet, the Energy Department reported last week. The five-year average increase for the week is 74 billion cubic feet. Inventories were 0.8 percent above the five-year average, wider than a surplus of 0.2 percent the previous week, according to the department.

Marketed gas production will average 65.79 billion cubic feet a day in 2011, up 6.4 percent from 61.83 billion last year, the Energy Department said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Sept. 7.

The total of about 24 trillion cubic feet for the year would be the highest in department records going back to 1900.

Natural gas for November delivery fell 18.5 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $3.481 per million British thermal units last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices today rose 7.5 cents to $3.616.

--Editors: Bill Banker, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Moming Zhou in New York at Mzhou29@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.


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