Largest Weekly Draw on Natural Gas Storage

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From

Well… It’s the largest draw “on record”… Since 2010…


Weekly change in natural gas storage (bcf). US EIA


  • Mcf :  Thousand cubic feet ~ 1 million btu (mmbtu)
  • Bcf : Billion cubic feet = 1 million mcf ~ 1 million mmbtu
  • Natural gas storage: underground storage facilities for natural gas.  Often old salt mines, depleted oil & gas fields.  Gas is injected during warm months and withdrawn during cold months.


Working gas in storage was 2,767 Bcf as of Friday, January 5, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 359 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 415 Bcf less than last year at this time and 382 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,149 Bcf. At 2,767 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

US EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

If natural gas was sea ice, it would be on the verge of disappearing forever (/Sarc)…


“Note: The shaded area indicates the range between the historical minimum and maximum values for the weekly series from 2013 through 2017. The dashed vertical lines indicate current and year-ago weekly periods.” US EIA

The record draw on natural gas storage was driven by record-breaking natural gas consumption… [See correction at bottom of post]


“Estimated U.S. natural gas demand on January 1, 2018 reached 150.7 billion cubic feet, surpassing the previous single-day record set in 2014, according to estimates from PointLogic.” US EIA

The record-breaking natural gas demand was driven by… Wait for it… FRIGID COLD temperatures over most of the continental United States…


“Between December 24, 2017, and January 3, 2018, daily temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 27° Fahrenheit (F), which was 9°F lower than the 30-year (1981–2010) average for the same period. Daily temperatures reached a maximum departure from normal of 18°F below normal on January 1, 2018.” US EIA

Which has all led to a sharp spike in spot market natural gas prices… Can you say “hockey stick”?


Henry Hub Natural Gas spot market price ($/mmbtu ~ $/mcf) US EIA

This is exactly what we should have expected from Gorebal Warming!

Good thing that most of our coal-fired capacity survived Obama’s War on Coal!

Unfortunately, FERC rejected the proposed resiliency pricing rule for coal and nuclear power plants… So let’s hope the Marcellus holds up!


The record-breaking weekly storage draw and spot market price spike were the direct result of the deep-freeze.  The record consumption was due to a combination of factors: increased gas-fired electricity generation, exports and to a lesser extent, the deep freeze.  I should have structured the post better.



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