The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the season’s first withdrawal from natural gas storage inventories on Wednesday, an on-target 21 Bcf for the week ending Nov. 19.

EIA gas storage

The EIA’s weekly inventory report was published at noon ET on Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Natural gas futures prices were several cents higher in anticipation of the season’s first pull and strengthened further as the EIA figure confirmed some tightness in supply/demand balances. The December Nymex futures contract was hovering just above $5.00/MMBtu in the minutes leading up to the EIA report and then popped to around $5.04 as the print crossed trading desks. By 12:30 p.m. ET, the prompt month was trading at $5.086, up 11.9 cents from Tuesday’s close.

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