The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday reported a withdrawal of 72 Bcf natural gas from storage for the week ended March 17. The result fell just shy of the median estimates produced by major polls but was bullish relative to recent history, supporting Nymex natural gas futures.


Ahead of the 10:30 ET EIA report, the April futures contract was up 4.9 cents at $2.220/MMBtu. The prompt month slipped to $2.200 when the EIA data was released.

By 11 a.m. ET, however, it was up to $2.260, 8.9 cents higher from the previous day’s close.

Prior to the report, draw estimates submitted to Reuters ranged from 66 Bcf to 81 Bcf, with a median of 76 Bcf. Bloomberg’s poll showed the same range and landed at a median of 73 Bcf. The Wall Street Journal found an average...