(Reuters) - U.S. utilities likely injected an above-normal 58 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas into storage last week as production rose to near record levels, according to a Reuters poll on Wednesday.
The projected build for the week ended Aug. 9 compares with an increase of 35 bcf during the same week a year ago and a five-year (2014-2018) average injection of 49 bcf for the period.
Utilities added 55 bcf of gas into storage in the prior week ended Aug. 2.
If estimates are on target, the increase last week would boost stockpiles to 2.747 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 3.6% below the five-year average and 15.4% above the same week a year ago.
The amount of gas in storage has remained below the five-year average since September 2017.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.
Gas production in the Lower 48 U.S. states averaged a near record 91.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) last week, according to data from Refinitiv.
The weather, meanwhile, was warmer than normal last week with 97 cooling degree days (CDDs) versus a 30-year average of 87 CDDs for the period.
CDDs measure the number of degrees a day’s average temperature is above 65 Fahrenheit (18 Celsius), and are used to estimate demand to cool homes and businesses.
Reuters polled 18 analysts, who estimated injections ranging from 45 bcf to 65 bcf, with a median build of 58 bcf.
Early estimates for the week ending Aug. 16 ranged from 51 bcf to 70 bcf, with an average increase of 66 bcf.
That compares with a build of 47 bcf for the same week last year and a five-year average injection of 51 bcf.
Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; editing by Scott DiSavino and Chizu Nomiyama