NEW YORK–Natural-gas futures sank deeper Thursday morning after a weekly stockpile report showed a larger surplus than expected.
Producers added 92 billion cubic feet of gas to storage for the week ended Sept. 5, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. The addition was 10 bcf larger than the 82 bcf consensus of analysts and brokers in The Wall Street Journal survey. It was also larger than any of the projections, which topped out at 89.
Natural gas for October delivery immediately lost 1.7% after the data release, adding to incremental losses from early-morning trading. The front-month contract recently traded down 13 cents, or 3.3%, for the day at $3.824 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Traders use the EIA update to gauge how quickly stockpiles are recovering from high demand that drained them to 11-year lows this winter. Last week’s addition refilled stockpiles to 2.8 trillion cubic feet, about 14% lower than the five-year average level for that week of the year. It had been at less than half of the average at the start of spring.