In the third weekly surprise in a row, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 60 Bcf injection into natural gas storage for the week ending July 1.

Unlike the previous two weeks, though, the latest EIA data was hugely bearish to expectations. The 60 Bcf injection was about 15 Bcf lighter than estimates ahead of the report and sent natural gas futures – already sharply higher early in Thursday’s trading session – skyrocketing past $6.

The August Nymex gas futures contract was trading around $5.740/MMBtu, up about 23 cents day/day, in the minutes leading up to the EIA report and swiftly jumped to $6.10 as the print crossed trading desks. By 11 a.m. ET, the prompt month had surged as high as $6.209.

[How much more U.S. natural gas storage capacity is needed...