What Is the EIA Natural Gas Report?

The EIA Natural Gas Report is a weekly report provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that indicates the current supply of natural gas reserves that are stored underground in the United States. The amount of gas stored in inventory is a primary determinant of natural gas prices. Each report lists the data gathered from the previous week.

Key Takeaways

  • The EIA Natural Gas Report is a weekly report on the supply and demand of natural gas reserves that are stored underground in the U.S.
  • Provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) based on the previous week's numbers, the EIA Natural Gas Report is the preeminent source for determining natural gas prices.
  • The short report lists the billion cubic feet of stock available per region of the United States and compares it to the rolling 5-year maximum and minimum.

How the Natural Gas Report Works

The EIA Natural Gas Report provides a current reading on the law of supply and demand as it applies to natural gas reserves, just as it does with any other commodity. When reserves are low, prices increase and vice versa. Therefore, investors use reserve reports as a means of anticipating price movements. The EIA Natural Gas Report is the preeminent natural gas report in the United States.

Natural gas, which is a colorless, odorless, gaseous hydrocarbon is often stored underground under pressure in one of three kinds of facilities: depleted reservoirs, aquifers, and salt caverns. It can also be stored as a liquid or a gas in tanks above ground. Natural gas that is stored underground is classified as base gas or working gas.

The EIA provides weekly estimates of working gas volumes held in underground storage facilities in the lower 48 states and five regional levels. The quantity is measured in billions of cubic feet of stock available and compared to the rolling 5-year maximum and minimum. The American Gas Association (AGA) first provided weekly estimates for stored working gas in 1994. The AGA discontinued its reporting on May 1, 2002. As a result, the EIA took up the mantle and released its first estimates of underground storage on May 9, 2002. The goal of the weekly report is to provide weekly estimates of the level of working gas in underground storage for the United States and five regions.

The amount of natural gas stored underground in inventory—whether in depleted reservoirs, aquifers, or salt caverns—is a primary determinant of natural gas prices for the week.

Data Collection in the EIA Natural Gas Report Explained

To make sure that data is collected accurately, the EIA uses different editing processes. For example, the EIA compares the current week's data to recent data reports and compilations of monthly data reports. If a company's response is outside the edit bounds or if it notes any special issues, survey personnel will contact them to confirm data or make any corrections.