Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold Weather = Lots of Gas Use

The EIA weekly storage report showed another big decrease in storage, but the levels are still 10+% higher than the figures we saw last year and over the past five years.  Last week, storage decreased 153 Bcf, or 4.7%, to 3.123 Tcf.  The weekly decrease was far greater than the 60 Bcf decrease last year and the 78 Bcf average withdrawal for the past five years.

The chart below showing the current line and the five year average has been recast to include 2009's figures in the five year average, thus widening the band for the second half of the year.


Anonymous said...

EIA compares the gas in underground storage with the 5year average and with last year storage. If 2009 represents a new stock record for the USA why not compare with the previous stock record.
The new world record of Usain Bolt is never compared with last year record or an average of the 5 last world records but with the previous record.
Why not compare the new stock of natural gas ( 3123 Bcf end of 2009 ) with the previous maximum of 3053 Bcf ( end of 2006 I believe). The actual stock is only 70 Bcf or 2,5% above the previous record. Is it that the enormous and huge announced surplus?
It is easy to direct figures..

Robert Hutchinson said...

Mostly I report it as the EIA does for consistency. I don't think there is any subterfuge or number jockeying going on here.

I do think the five year comparison is somewhat relevant because the amount of storage capacity changes each year with physical changes to storage facilities (presumably increasing each year). I don't have the stats in front of me, but there is more capacity today than there was back in 2006, so the 3,123 Tcf represents a different % of capacity.

That said, however, I agree that it is worth looking backwards when making absolute comparisons.