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Bulls Can't Get A Break Following Lean Storage Build

The relentless build in natural gas storage continued Thursday with the release of government figures showing a thinner build than traders were expecting. Natural gas futures rose but quickly subsided following the release.

For the week ended Oct. 16, the Energy Information Administration reported an 81 Bcf injection in its 10:30 a.m. EDT release. November futures rose to a high of $2.435 after the number was released, and by 10:45 a.m. November was trading at $2.395, down 0.9 cent from Wednesday's settlement.

Prior to the release of the data, analysts were looking for an increase in the upper-80 Bcf area. Bentek Energy was at the low end of estimates with 82 Bcf, utilizing its flow model, and Genscape was figuring on an 87 Bcf build. A Reuters poll of 26 traders and analysts showed an average 88 Bcf with a range of 82-95 Bcf.

"The initial reaction was higher since we were looking for an 87 Bcf to 88 Bcf build," a New York floor trader told NGI. "We basically went back to where we were before the number came out. There was really nothing crazy off the number."

Inventories now stand at 3,814 Bcf and are 434 Bcf greater than last year and 163 Bcf more than the five-year average. In the East Region 49 Bcf was injected, and the West Region saw inventories increase by 3 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region rose by 29 Bcf.

The Producing Region salt cavern storage figure was up 11 Bcf at 357 Bcf, while the non-salt cavern figure increased 18 Bcf to 972 Bcf.

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