A record amount of gas has been withdrawn from U.S. storage following the recent unprecedented low temperatures which have affected the country’s Northern states, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Net withdrawals from natural gas storage totalled 359 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending January 5, 2018, exceeding the previous record of 288 Bcf set four years ago.
Near the end of December 2017 and continuing into January, temperatures in the Lower 48 states, especially in the eastern half of the country, were significantly lower than normal. Similar to January 2014, sustained periods of cold temperatures resulted in high natural gas demand for heating, contributing to increased withdrawals from storage.
Consumption of natural gas in the residential and commercial sectors reached 452 Bcf during the week ending January 5, compared with 348 Bcf during the previous week, according to estimates from PointLogic Energy. PointLogic Energy estimated that total weekly natural gas consumption in the Lower 48 states increased by 150 Bcf, reaching 961 Bcf for the week ending January 5. Another 29 Bcf and 21 Bcf were exported by pipeline to Mexico and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), respectively.
Freezing temperatures also had an impact on natural gas production, as cold temperatures led to freeze-offs in the Appalachian and Permian basins. Freeze-offs occur when water vapour in the natural gas stream freezes and blocks the flow of gas. Dry natural gas production totalled a record high of 539 Bcf during the December 29, 2017 report week, but declined to 517 Bcf during the following week, according to estimates from PointLogic Energy.
Pipeline imports from Canada and LNG imports increased during this period, partially offsetting some of the production declines, while withdrawals of natural gas from storage played a key role in meeting natural gas demand and limiting some market participants’ exposure to spikes in natural gas spot prices.
For more information visit www.eia.gov
16th Jan 2018