U.S. natural gas stocks increased mainly in line with analysts’ expectations at about half the five-year average build, and Henry Hub futures showed mixed results following the release of the storage report as a power outage at an LNG terminal could slow export demand recovery during September.
Storage volumes stood at 538 bcf, or 18.4% more than the year-ago level of 2.917 tcf, and 407 bcf, or 13.4% more than the five-year average of 3.048 tcf.
The injection measured less than the 77 bcf build reported during the same week last year as well as the five-year average gain of 66 bcf, according to EIA data.
The NYMEX Henry Hub October contract added 5 cents to $2.54/MMBtu in trading following the release of the weekly storage report. However, the winter strip of November through March fell by 1 cent to average at $3.22/MMBtu.
Gulf of Mexico production and LNG feedgas demand have both started recovering during the week in progress. Offshore production has started to rebound from near-zero to 700 MMcf/d, following almost entirely shutting in 2.2 bcf/d last week due to Hurricane Laura.
However, feedgas demand recovery at the Cameron LNG export terminal looks to be delayed due to widespread power grid damage in Louisiana from the hurricane.
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