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Today in Energy

May 10, 2011

Injection season forecast for natural gas storage

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, Short-Term Energy Outlook, Natural Gas Monthly
Note: The natural gas industry considers two seasons in storage operation—the withdrawal season, from November 1 through March 31; and the injection season, from April 1 through October 31.

EIA's May 2011 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that underground storage operators will inject 2,290 billion cubic feet (Bcf) into storage during the 2011 injection season, which runs from April 1 through October 31—the largest injection season gain since 2003. This level of injections would place natural gas stocks as of October 31 at 22 Bcf above last year's record inventories.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, Short-Term Energy Outlook, Natural Gas Monthly

Injections in the East and West regions are driving high forecasts for inventory gains, with the East region forecasted to end the 2011 injection season at record inventory levels, and the West region forecasted to have record levels of additions for an injection season. Robust domestic natural gas production, especially from natural gas shale plays, may be contributing to the storage levels in the East where production in the Marcellus shale play shows continued growth. A strong hydropower season in the West, which would reduce the amount of natural gas used in power plants, is expected to boost natural gas storage levels in that region.