EIA: During recent cold snap, the U.S. withdrew a record amount of natural gas from storage

During the recent cold weather event that affected much of the eastern United States, more natural gas was withdrawn from storage fields around the country than at any other point in history. Net withdrawals from natural gas storage totaled 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. Population-weighted heating degree days, which are correlated with heating demand, increased to 273, indicating that weather was much colder than experienced during the previous record withdrawal, when heating degree days reached 255 for the week ending January 9, 2014.

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…


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