Platts Pre-report Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data will Show a Withdrawal from Natural Gas Stocks of 137 Bcf to 141 Bcf

Washington - Janaury 9, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a net withdrawal from natural gas storage between 137 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and 141 Bcf for the week ending January 11, according to a Platts survey of analysts.

A draw within that range would be greater than the 89-Bcf pull in the comparable week of 2012 but slightly smaller than the five-year-average drawdown of 144 Bcf, according to EIA. As a result, the 88-Bcf deficit to last year will likely show an increase, while the 320-Bcf surplus over the five-year average is expected to expand.

Beyond the consensus, the wider range of analysts’ predictions spanned from withdrawals of 124 Bcf to 184 Bcf.

Gene McGillian, a trader with TFS Energy Futures, said the weather was warmer than during the previous week, when the EIA reported a hefty 201-Bcf drawdown, and as a result the demand for storage gas declined.

Tim Evans, an analyst with Citi Futures Perspective, said if the withdrawal is at the high end of expectations it would indicate "some further tightening in the market's supply/demand balance, with more bullish implications for the weeks ahead."

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