Tuesday, October 30, 2018

At Risk Of Beating A Dead Horse -- US Natural Gas Projections -- Winter, 2018 - 2019

I've gone back and re-read the post on natural gas sent by a reader.

After reading it again, I've taken the liberty to add a line on the graphic to project where "we" could be if the winter of 2018-2019 is anything like the winter of 2013 - 2014. I am unaware of anyone making that comparison yet, but it's a scenario that needs considering.

The reader's note is long and involved but it can be summed up in three points. Only that in bold needs to be read.

1. We should know where "we" stand by the end of the second weekend in November. Generally, max natural gas storage in the US is seen at the end of injection season, historically the first weekend in November, but the reader suggests that based on recent history, the injection season could go an additional week this year, i.e., the second week in November.

2. Going into the heating season, when natural gas in storage starts to decline, our current storage is at record lows, last seen in 2005, thirteen years ago.

3. If the winter of 2018 - 2019 approaches the severity of the winter of 2013 - 2014, US natural gas storage could drop to well below 200 bcf. Note that US natural gas in storage has never dropped below 900 bcf. The graphic is worth a thousand words.

This is my interpretation of what the reader wrote. I take all responsibility if I have misinterpreted what he was saying.

The graphic:

The Top Three Stories That Fascinate Me Right Now

I first posted this list October 26, 2018, only four days ago:
  • Proposition 112 in Colorado
  • Saudi Arabia -- the Crown Prince's recent investment conference was a dud
  • News today that the NDIC is raising the flaring issue once again
It's amazing how fast things change. The list is now changed a bit, and expanded:
  • Proposition 112 in Colorado
  • the growing alliance between Russia and Saudi Arabia
  • how Iran responds when pushed into a corner
  • flaring policy in North Dakota


  1. the key number is how much gas has to be withdrawn from storage throughout the winter, from the peak in early November through roughly April 1st, whenever the weather moderates enough for our needs to be met from production...in 2014, we started with 3,834 billion cubic feet on November 8th & ended with 824 billion cubic feet on March 28th, quite an amazing 3,010 billion cubic foot winter draw...contrast that to last year, when our supplies peaked at 3,890 while the chart appears to show 2017 supplies stayed above 2,000 billion cubic feet all winter...that means we needed less than 1900 billion cubic feet to get through winter last year, despite the record draw in January...i would bet it was less the prior winter, when it was warm throughout, so warm in fact that we saw the first February injection ever...i'll have to dig those numbers out...

    1. Thank you. I may have to begin a "page" dedicated to the natural gas story this winter. Right now I do have the "tag" but I find it useful to be able to scroll down one page and see how the drama unfolded.

    2. By the way, thank you for your very involved note the other day; it took me a couple of times through your note to finally "get it." Lots of data / history in that one note.