Natural gas in storage rose 74 billion cubic feet in the April 21 week to 2,189 bcf. The fourth consecutive weekly increase since the start of the injection phase of the annual cycle puts gas stocks 14.1 percent below last year's level, which was oversized because of lower than average heating consumption due to mild weather. Gas stocks are 15.8 percent above the average for the last 5 years for the comparable period, however, and remain in the upper half the 5-year range. The EIA's latest short term energy outlook expects an increase of about 1,750 bcf through this summer's injection season, suggesting that inventories at the end of October will not match the record high end-of-injection period levels set in October last year. Inventories began the recent heating season at a record of 4,047 bcf on November 11, 2016. Withdrawals during the heating season were larger than in the prior year, however, closely tracking the 5-year average as milder-weather low consumption was offset by a 3 percent decrease in production.