Continued cold finally boosts natural gas
U.S. natural gas inventories shrank again last week because of continued cold weather.
Natural gas in storage fell by 228 billion cubic feet to a total of 1.71 trillion cubic feet in the week ending Feb. 27, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Demand from gas-fired furnaces lifted the withdraw well above the five-year average of 115 billion cubic feet for the last week in February.
The withdraw was slightly more than the 224 billion cubic feet average in a Bloomberg survey of 24 analysts.
Benchmark U.S. natural gas embraced the news to close up about 7.2 cents or 2.6 percent at $2.841 per million British thermal unit on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Stores of gas are about 492 billion cubic feet higher they were at this time last year, and about 143 billion cubic feet below the five-year average for the week of 1.85 trillion cubic feet.
Natural gas prices have fallen sharply as massive production and mild early-winter weather diminished demand. The price has remained depressed even as temperatures have turned colder later in the season.