Other Market Trends
Marketed Production in November Reaches 61.5 Bcf/d. On January 28, 2011, EIA released the Natural Gas Monthly, which contains State and national-level estimates of natural gas volume and price data through November 2010. U.S. natural gas production hit its highest level ever for November, at 63.5 Bcf per day. This is an increase of almost .7 Bcf per day, or 1 percent, from the previous month, and an increase of almost 9 percent from November 2009. Natural gas consumption increased month over month, as colder weather increased demand for heating. Total consumption rose from 53.3 Bcf per day in October to 65.8 Bcf per day in November; in November 2009, consumption was 59.0 Bcf per day. This year, heating degree-days in November totaled 523, an increase of about 18 percent from the same month last year. Residential consumption more than doubled from October 2010 to November 2010. The average natural gas wellhead price declined from October to November, falling from $3.79 per MMBtu to $3.43 per MMBtu. As of the end of November, working natural gas in storage totaled 3,772 Bcf, indicating a withdrawal of 74 Bcf over the month of November.
Natural Gas Transportation Update
- Several pipelines posted notices in reaction to the increased demand due to cold weather. According to BENTEK, demand in the Rockies reached record levels on Tuesday and Wednesday due to a cold weather pattern that was moving east. On February 2, Westcoast Energy, Inc. issued a low-linepack Operational Flow Order due to system drafting. Similarly, Kinder Morgan Interstate Group pipeline issued a notice that, effective February 2 until further notice, Kinder Morgan Interstate Group is at capacity for received quantities from Cheyenne Plains. Based on the current level of nominations, interruptible and secondary quantities are at risk for not being scheduled. Colorado Interstate declared a system-wide strained operating condition due to an inability to absorb imbalances as storage withdrawals are at maximum capacity.
- The weather also affected natural gas flows on Kinder Morgan’s Rockies Express Pipeline. Although the capacity of the Rockies Express Pipeline leaving Wyoming has been nearly fully utilized, segment flows to the pipeline’s terminus in Clarington, Ohio, were at their lowest levels on February 2 since the opening of the pipeline, according to BENTEK Energy. Flows to Clarington have averaged 1 Bcf per day since the service began. On February 2, the amount of natural gas reaching Clarington was half that level. This would indicate that natural gas that normally ends up in Clarington was delivered upstream.