Investing.com - Natural gas futures surged on Thursday, hitting their highest level in a week after data showed the largest withdrawal on record in U.S. supplies in storage.
U.S. natural gas futures jumped 9.5 cents, or around 3.3%, to $3.002 per million British thermal units by 10:45AM ET (1545GMT). Futures were at around $3.015 prior to the release of the supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. declined by 359 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Jan. 5, compared to forecasts for a withdrawal of 318 bcf.
That surpassed the record draw of 287 billion cubic feet in the week ended Jan. 10, 2014, Energy Information Administration data showed.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.767 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 415 bcf, or around 13.0%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 382 bcf, or roughly 12.1%, below the five-year average for this time of year.
Prices have gained around 5% so far this week as investors reacted to the severe winter storm hitting much of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
Bullish speculators are betting that the cool weather will increase demand for the heating fuel. The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.