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Natural gas reserves gain less than expected

natural gasAccording to the Energy Information Administrations weekly report, natural gas stockpiles in the U.S. gained less than expected in the week ending July 19. However, the build was well above last years reading during the comparable week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for September delivery traded at $3.653 per million British thermal units at 14:50 GMT, down 1.36% on the day. Prices ranged between days high and low of $3.753 and $3.643 per mBtu respectively. The fuel fell 0.6% on Wednesday, pressured by a broadly stronger dollar, extending this week’s decline to 3.3% after it settled 3.56% higher the previous one.

The Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. natural gas stockpiles rose by 41 million cubic feet in the week ending July 19 and totaled 2 786 billion. The Natural Gas Storage Indicator was 12.5% lower than the same 7-day period last year, which equaled 3 185 billion cubic feet. Last weeks inventories were also 1.6% below the five-year average, which stand at 2 832 billion cubic feet.

However, last weeks build was well above the preceding years 26 billion cubic feet increase during the comparable week, but below the five-year average gain of 53 billion. According to a preliminary survey among Platts analysts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., injection estimates were supposed to show a build up in range between 47 billion cubic feet and 51 billion cubic feet.

Natural gas was pressured this week as weather forecasting models pointed at cooling temperatures across key consuming areas. MDA Weather Services and the U.S. National Weather Service expect normal and even below-normal temperatures to settle over parts of the eastern half of the nation for the next several days. When above-normal temperatures are expected, natural gas surges as increased electricity demand to power air-conditioning calls for more supply of the fuel, which is used for a quarter of the U.S. electricity generation. Mild temperatures have the opposite effect.

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