Natural gas futures found fresh footing in positive territory Wednesday, marking the first gain of 2023, amid estimates for a massive storage withdrawal report.

At A Glance:

  • BREAKING: U.S. EIA reports bearish 213 Bcf withdrawal from storage for week ending Dec. 30
  • Warm weather ahead
  • Outlook shows fading heating demand

After dropping 48.7 cents in the previous session and closing below $4.00, the February Nymex natural gas futures contract on Wednesday gained 18.4 cents day/day and settled at $4.172/MMBtu. Gas for delivery in March rose 13.9 cents to $3.780.

NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. shed 93.5 cents to $5.370 on Wednesday, led lower by declines in western markets.

Still, while natural gas cash markets gave up ground overall, costs in the West remained lofty, with...