EIA: Winter Ends with Record High NatGas Storage on Hand

EIAIn the natural gas world there are two seasons: winter (when you use natural gas) and summer (when you “inject” or store natural gas). The “winter strip” goes from November to March, and the “summer strip” runs from April through October. Storage levels are a key factor in the pricing of natural gas. Economics 101: the price for commodities like natgas is purely a function of supply and demand. If you have more supply than demand, the price goes down. In the northeast part of the country we just came through the mildest (temperature-wise) winter in a generation. We used a lot less natgas than we normally would. That means the gas sitting in storage didn’t get drawn down nearly as much as it usually does. That’s what you would expect, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has confirmed it. We ended the winter heating season at the end of March with “record high levels” of natgas sitting in storage. And now we begin the process of storing more. If all other factors remain equal–meaning there’s no new or sudden increase in demand this summer–it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how record high storage levels will affect the price. Here’s the EIA with their latest on storage…

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