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Summer natural gas injection continues at a record pace


The US Energy Information Administration’s current Short-Term Energy Outlook projects a record build of nearly 2,600 bcf from the beginning of April through the end of October, which would put inventories at 3,431 bcf at the end of October. In line with EIA’s expectations, working natural gas storage midway through the summer storage injection season is on pace to for a record overall build.

Following an extremely cold winter, storage inventories at the end of the heating season were only 857 bcf, the lowest level since 2003 and 1,000 bcf below the 2009-13 average. “While the refill season began slowly in April, injections quickly ramped up in May and have substantially exceeded 5-year average levels each week since then,” EIA said.

In the 10 weeks between the week ending Apr. 25 and the week ended July 4, net injections into storage inventories totaled 1.04 tcf, marking the quickest increase since 2003. As a result, the gap between current storage and the 5-year average narrowed substantially. Currently, inventories are 683 bcf below the 5-year average.

Abundant production and moderate demand for gas to generate electricity because of a relatively cool summer contributed to this year’s strong injections, EIA said. As new wells come online in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shale, gas marketed production has continued to set records and production growth is expected to continue.

In the current STEO, EIA expects that demand from the electric power sector from April through October will remain flat compared with last year, while gas production is about 3 bcfd higher this summer compared with last summer. EIA forecasts that the gap between current and 5-year average inventory levels will continue to narrow over the rest of the injection season.

Continued high levels of production expected through next spring will also help to reduce the need for storage withdrawals over the upcoming winter. As inventories have increased at a record pace, prices have fallen to 6-month lows, EIA said.

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5 Comments on "Summer natural gas injection continues at a record pace"

  1. Makati1 on Mon, 28th Jul 2014 11:09 pm 

    Dropping prices don’t seem to indicate that there will be more of anything, especially natural gas.

  2. rockman on Tue, 29th Jul 2014 6:37 am 

    M – So true. After spending $140 million drilling for NG during the first 3 years of my company’s existence we haven’t drilled one NG prospect in almost 2 years and don’t have a single $ budgeted to do so any time in the foreseeable future. We’re doing OK now thanks to residual production but the oil patch drilling cycle moves very slowly. It will take time for production to wind down. But it will eventually. And he price of NG increases the oil patch will go after more NG. But again, it will expand to whatever degree it can but do so slowly.

  3. Nony on Tue, 29th Jul 2014 7:10 am 

    Demand for gas is healthy (volume consumed up 10% in last 3 years). The issue is oversupply. Domestic production is up 15% in last 3 years. The Marcellus is squeezing other areas out of gas exploration by driving down prices. Canada, GOM and US conventional are feeling the brunt of Marcellus bullying. And it doesn’t look to be anywhere near peaking. Good news for consumers!

  4. Sharpie on Tue, 29th Jul 2014 9:58 am 

    There is no “oversupply” in a situation where you’re producing 93% of what you consume. Just sayin’.

  5. Nony on Tue, 29th Jul 2014 1:14 pm 

    Price is low, while volume is increasing. Wouldn’t want to be a Canadian gas producer now.

    80% went to 93%. What would you be saying if we had headed the opposite way? That nothing had changed?

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