Frigid temps cause biggest-ever pull of stored working gas

Frigid temperatures over most of the eastern U.S. for the week ended Jan. 5, resulted in the biggest pull from storage of working natural gas since the Energy Information Administration began keeping records eight years ago, Kallanish Energy reports.

In its Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, EIA said a whopping 359 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or 11.5% of all working gas in storage, was pulled from underground, with the total volume of working gas stored dropping to 2.77 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), from 3.13 Tcf one week earlier.

The latest storage total was down 415 Bcf, or 13.0%, from the year-ago total of 3.18 Tcf, and was down 382 Bcf, or 12.1%, from the five-year average of 3.15 Tcf.

Last week’s draw was the largest weekly withdrawal ever, according to EIA data dating back to early January 2010, and since 1994, based on Reuters estimates of government energy data.

The previous record working gas withdrawal was 288 Bcf in January 2014, when an Arctic cold airmass surged south into the central and eastern U.S.

On New Year’s Day, the U.S. burned the most natural gas ever recorded. The U.S. consumed 143 Bcf of natural gas on Jan. 1 — breaking the previous record of 142 Bcf used during the polar vortex storm of 2014.

All five regions EIA divides the Lower 48 U.S. states into to track working gas in storage reported a sharp drop in volume.

The biggest draw was in the South Central Region, where the pull was 153 Bcf, or 14.4%, to 907 Bcf, from 1.06 Tcf stored for the week ended Dec. 29.

The latest South Central volume is down 235 Bcf, or 20.6%, from the year-ago total of 1.14 Tcf, and was down 191 Bcf, or 17.4%, from the five-year average of 1.10 Tcf.

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