U.S. natural gas storage has first spring build of 25 bcf vs. 28 bcf forecast

Natural gas storage in the United States rose by 25 billion cubic feet, or bcf, last week in the first series of injections for the spring season, government data showed on Thursday.

Industry analysts tracked by had anticipated a build of 28 bcf instead for the first week of April.

The injection resulted in the balance of gas in storage rising to 1.855 trillion cubic feet, or tcf, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its latest inventory reading on gas. That was 33% above the year-ago storage level and nearly 19% higher than the five-year average for gas inventories.

Natural gas for May delivery was down 4.3 cents, or 2.1%, by 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT), reacting to a larger-than-usual storage situation.

The 2023 pre-summer injection season is starting with one of the most bloated gas storages, courtesy of a winter that ran mostly warm, with one of the fewest snow storms ever.

Typically, this is a time when storage is at seasonal lows after large and consistent withdrawals during winter when gas is burned for heating.

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