Gas Supply Gain Was Below Average on Hot Weather, Analysts Say

U.S. natural-gas supplies probably rose by less than the seasonal average last week as hotter-than-normal weather boosted demand from power plants, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

Inventories climbed 53 billion cubic feet, or 1.8 percent, to 3.059 trillion cubic feet in the week ended June 22, based on the median of 22 estimates. The five-year average stockpile change for the week is an increase of 85 billion, according to Energy Department data. Supplies gained 84 billion cubic feet a year earlier.

The weather was hotter than usual in the Northeast and most of the Midwest last week, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. The high in New York on June 21 was 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius), 13 above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

“Temperatures in the Consuming East region last week were exceptionally warm,” Eric Bickel, an analyst at Summit Energy Services in Louisville, Kentucky, said in a note to clients today. “Cooling-degree days were 45 percent above the 30-year normal and 63 percent above the prior week.”

Cooling-degree days are a measure of weather-related demand for electricity. Power producers account for about 36 percent of U.S. gas consumption, according to the Energy Department.

The stockpile estimates ranged from increases of 46 billion to 62 billion cubic feet. The Energy Department’s weekly supply report is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Washington.

Natural gas for July delivery gained 15.8 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $2.625 per million British thermal units last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices today rose 0.7 cent to settle at $2.774.

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