Thursday, October 8, 2009

Storage Up, As Expected

The weekly EIA gas in storage number was released this morning. It went up 69 Bcf, or 1.9%, to 3.658 Tcf. Another week, another record. Ho-hum. The variance over last year (14.9% this week vs. 15.8% last week) and the five year trailing average (15.1% vs. 15.5%) continue to narrow slightly.


Anonymous said...

Robert, if the weekly increase continues to be around 69 bcf, if maximum storage capacity is around 3.0 tcf, and if the storage season ends at the end of November, then there doesn't seem to be much risk of exceeding capacity. Is this correct?

Robert Hutchinson said...

Storage caps out around 4 Tcf (theoretically) and the end of the injection season is the end of October, not November. Injections so far this fall have been lower than the seasonal average because NG has been taking some market share from coal in power generation, a slight silver lining in a low price. At this rate, we should be OK.

The biggest issue is WHERE it fills up first because it can create some logistical issues. Also some storage companies might be "holding a table" for more injections later, either because they can charge more or to maintain flexibility.

I mention the capacity is theoretical because some of the locations are natural underground formations and it's hard to know exactly how big they are. Also, because gas is, well, a gas, it has different properties than liquids. I was meeting with someone earlier this week involved in the NG services industry and his belief is that the pressure can be increased to accommodate more gas.

I think we're OK, but I still carry a rabbit's foot and avoid ladders. I'm also encouraged by cold fronts coming from the NW.