Slide 23 of 25
- Natural gas also is not heading for a good supply situation at the start of winter.
- Natural gas working storage levels are lower than in recent years. Low injection rates in the first 3 months of the refill season, which begins in March, were low and resulted in a stock level 8 percent below the 5-year average. However, net injections in the first 2 weeks of July were 24 percent above average, as moderate weather slowed demand.
- Natural gas inventories are expected to remain at the bottom of the normal range for the remainder of the year, unless we have unusually moderate weather through the rest of the build cycle.
- Stock growth has been slow because adjustments in domestic production seem to be lagging behind a recent rise in demand.
- Expanding gas consumption potential may have been obscured in recent years by warm weather, record electricity output from hydro and nuclear facilities, and low petroleum prices. Last year, consumption only rose by 0.5 percent.
- Gas production hit a relative peak of 18.9 TCF in 1997, and has declined slightly to 18.7 by 1999. Production to date in 2000 is about the same as last year. Aggregate production from the major producing states of TX, LA, OK, NM, KS, and AL has declined slightly in recent years, and has not been fully offset by increases from other regions.