The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. increased by 106 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 11, compared to forecasts for a build of 104 billion.
Thursday’s data compared with a gain of 89 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 821 billion from a year earlier and was also 501 bcf below the five-year average.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.538 trillion cubic feet, 34.8% lower than levels at this time a year ago and also 24.6% below the five-year average for this time of year.
After the report, natural gas for delivery in June on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 1.9 cents, or about 0.7%, to trade at $2.796 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (14:33GMT).
Futures had been trading down 1.7 cents, or about 0.6%, at $2.798 prior to the release of the supply data.
The commodity was on track for its third straight session of declines, wiping out a rally of 1.3% on Monday as updated forecasting models pointed to above-average temperatures covering most of the country through the end of May.
Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.