The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states rose by 80 billion cubic feet to nearly 1.89 trillion cubic feet for the week ending June 6.
The inventory level was slightly below the five-year average of about 1.91 trillion cubic feet, and well below last year’s storage level of 2.23 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
On Wednesday Citi Investment Research analyst Gil Yang raised his forecast for natural gas price this year to $9.50 per 1,000 cubic feet, up from $8.40 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Natural gas prices have been rising steadily since the beginning of the year, when they were around $7.50 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Natural gas for July delivery rose more than 20 cents to settle at $12.86 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.