EIA: Natural gas storage inventories rebounding

HOUSTON — Natural gas inventories rose by 40 billion cubic feet last week, extending a long run of higher-than-average storage injections, the U.S. Energy Information said Friday.

Natural gas storage levels have been struggling to recover from a frigid winter in 2014 that left inventories well below five-year average levels. Since then, producers have been directing large amounts of gas to storage in preparation for winter draw downs.

The net increase in storage inventories comes near the end of the industry’s injection season, when suppliers build up natural gas inventories before drawing them down in the colder winter months. In total, inventories remain about 6.2 percent below five-year average levels.

Gas in storage was about 3,611 billion cubic feet for the week ending Nov. 7. Those levels put inventories at 220 billion cubic feet less than last year’s total of 3,831 billion cubic feet and 237 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 3,848 billion cubic feet.

This week was the 30th consecutive report where natural gas inventories rose more than the five-year average rate. Cold temperatures across the nation this week will likely affect the storage results released next week.