After selling off sharply in the previous session, natural gas futures remained under pressure early Thursday as traders prepared to digest a potential surplus-expanding government inventory report. 

The May Nymex contract was off 0.4 cents to $1.649/MMBtu at around 8:30 a.m. ET. June was down 2.6 cents to $1.953.

The market early Thursday was expecting the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to reveal a larger-than-average springtime injection in the low 80s Bcf for the week ending April 19.

A Reuters survey of 11 analysts produced a median 83 Bcf injection, with estimates ranging from 60 Bcf to 89 Bcf. Estimates submitted to Bloomberg as of Wednesday also resulted in an 83 Bcf median injection estimate, with responses ranging from 70 Bcf to 91 Bcf.

NGI modeled...