Ahead of a potentially surplus-shrinking weekly government inventory report, the first in weeks, natural gas futures pared their losses in early trading Thursday. Coming off a 17.7-cent sell-off in the previous session, the April Nymex contract was up 3.1 cents to $2.202/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly natural gas storage report, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET, is poised to reveal a larger-than-average withdrawal for the week ending March 17. 

Withdrawal 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 expected pull of 75 Bcf. NGI modeled a 76 Bcf withdrawal.