April natural gas futures settled 16.5 cents lower at $2.697/MMBtu Thursday on a bearish gas storage report from the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA Thursday reported a withdrawal of 219 Bcf, less than the market consensus of 239-243 Bcf in a Platts survey of analysts. “It was a bullish number, it’s just that expectations were for something significantly higher,” Tradition Energy analyst Gene McGillian said. “It means the market is going to have to contend with production numbers running 6 Bcf/day above last year.” EIA, in the corresponding week last year, reported a 117-Bcf withdrawal. The five-year average for the corresponding week was a 131-Bcf pull. “The announcement failed to meet expectations of 241 Bcf, and our modeling indicated that it was the most oversupplied weekly storage report since September,” Aaron Calder, an analyst with Gelber & Associates, said. “This number implies […]