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Record natural gas storage projected for 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Prolonged harsh winter conditions in the US led to a record breaking natural gas withdrawal season in 2014, bringing natural gas inventories to a 10 year low. From 1st November 2013 through to 10th March 2014 US natural gas consumption averaged 91.2 billion ft3. This is 10% greater than the value for the same period last winter and 13% over the average for the period over the last five years.

Following this, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates a robust injection season (April – October), with nearly 2500 billion ft3 added to storage as operators seek to rebuild inventory levels.

The Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects relatively high natural gas production growth and moderate demand growth from April, that will allow a record storage build of 2500 billion ft3 through to October. This forecast injection would surpass the previous record injection season by more than 90 billion ft3, to end at 3459 billion ft3.

Spot prices are anticipated to be in the low US$ 4/million Btu range over the summer, a level high enough to limit growth of natural gas use in the electric power sector. Assuming normal weather, the EIA anticipates that electric power consumption of gas from April – October will be 2.39 billion ft3/d, almost the same as last year. Expected dry natural gas production during this period will be 68.1 billion ft3/d, a 2% increase on last year.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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