US Cold Snap Produces Record Gas Storage Withdrawals
Bitter cold during the first week of January produced a record 359bn ft3 withdrawal of gas from storage in the US, the nation’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said January 11.
In its Natural Gas Weekly Update, the EIA said gas drawn from storage in the week ended January 5 exceeded by 25% the previous record withdrawal of 288bn ft3 established the week ended January 10, 2014. Net withdrawals between December 22, 2017 and January 5, it added, totaled 565bn ft3, topping the previous two-week record of 510bn ft3 established January 1-15, 2010.
“Sustained periods of frigid temperatures in the East, Midwest, and South Central regions resulted in strong natural gas demand for space and water heating, contributing to robust withdrawals from storage,” the EIA said, adding that overall natural gas consumption (including exports) in the Lower 48 increased by 150bn ft3 during the storage week, to 961bn ft3. Heating degree days (HDD) during the January 5 reporting week reached 273, compared to 255 HDD during the January 10, 2014 reporting week.
LNG feedstock exports for the week were 21bn ft3, while pipeline exports to Mexico reached 29bn ft3.
The freezing temperatures also had an impact on US dry gas production, the EIA said. From a record level of 539bn ft3 during the December 29, 2017 reporting week, production declined to 517bn ft3 during the following week, as cold temperatures led to well freeze-offs in the Appalachian and Permian basins. Pipeline imports from Canada and LNG imports also increased during this period, offsetting some of the lost production capability.