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US Natural Gas Supplies See Record Drop

Extremely cold weather over much of the United States last week forced storage operators to pull a record amount of natural gas from inventory, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA report showed that U.S. natural gas stocks fell last week by a record 274 billion cubic feet, easily eclipsing the previous benchmark high draw of 260 billion cubic feet set in January 1997, and the second highest pull of 259 billion cubic feet from the frigid Feb. 9 week last year.

A Reuters poll on Wednesday showed that industry experts on average had expected a 258 billion cubic feet decline, but eight out of 24 participants in the poll had called for a record high draw.