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US power generation using less natural gas each year, despite shift from coal – EIA

inventories

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report inventories

Natural gas consumption in power sector highest in summer months because of high demand from air conditioning

Based on data through Aug., year-over-year declines in US electric power sector consumption have been partially offset by changes in natural gas trade, as exports have increased and imports have remained relatively flat. EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook expects the United States to be a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis in 2017.

Working natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states as of Oct. 31, 2017, totaled 3,784 billion cubic feet (Bcf), as interpolated from EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report data.

Natural gas storage levels typically increase from April through Oct., although net injections sometimes occur in Nov, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

consumerInventories at the end of Oct. 2017 were 2 per cent lower than the previous five-year end-of-October average and 5 per cent lower than the record-setting end-of-Oct. level of 3,977 Bcf last year.

Injection levels during refill season level can vary considerably, depending in part on inventory levels at the start of the refill season.

This year, relatively high inventory levels at the beginning of the injection season (April) would naturally have resulted in a slower-than-average pace of injections.

Nevertheless, injections were insufficient to return inventories to their recent historical average. From May 2015 through mid-Sept. 2017, working gas levels were higher than the five-year average for 118 out of 122 weeks.

However, since late Sept. 2017, working natural gas levels have been lower than the previous five-year average for seven consecutive weeks, based on data through Nov. 10.

graph of weekly lower 48 working natural gas inventories difference from previous 5-year average, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Natural gas storage is used to balance out seasonal fluctuations in demand. Natural gas demand is highest in the winter months, when residential and commercial demand for natural gas for space heating increases.

Natural gas consumption in the power sector is highest in summer months, when overall electricity demand is relatively high for cooling.

graph of monthly U.S. natural gas supply and disposition, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Monthly

 

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