The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas storage data recorded a build of 65 Billion Cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending September 1st. The increase was well above the build of 30 Bcf recorded last week, but close to consensus forecasts of a 64 Bcf increase.
Stocks overall are 6.2% below the year-ago level and 0.5% above the five-year average from 0.3% last week.
There was a stronger increase in stocks in both the East and Midwest for the week while stocks also increased in the South Central region after seven successive weekly declines. Stocks fell slightly in the Pacific region and were unchanged in the Mountain area.
Most attention in the energy complex will continue to focus on hurricane developments with damage assessments from Harvey and uncertainty surrounding the impact of Irma which is likely to make landfall in Florida over the weekend or early next week.
Natural gas prices edged slightly lower after the release to around $2.99 per mBtu with a further focus on whether prices could hold above the $3.00 per mBtu level on a closing basis.
The dollar remained under pressure on Wednesday which helped provide net support to energy prices.
The latest weather forecasts suggest that overall gas demand will be relatively low over the next week which will limit the potential for gains in natural gas prices.