Underground storage of natural gas in the United States changed little in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The agency measures working natural gas storage capacity in two ways: design capacity and demonstrated peak capacity.
Both measures of capacity were relatively unchanged in 2019 with design capacity declining 0.4% and demonstrated peak capacity increasing 0.1% compared to 2018, Kallanish Energy reports.
Design capacity was about 4,700 Bcf in the Lower 48 states in 2019, the agency said.
Demonstrated peak capacity in 2019 was about 4,300 Bcf, it reported.
For the sixth year in a row, no new natural gas storage fields were completed, it said.
The EIA said design capacity dropped by 19 billion cubic feet in the Lower 48 states in 2019. Most of that drop came in the Mountain region where working design capacity fell by 15 Bcf or 3% of the regional total. There were storage increases in the West and East.
The country’s only new natural gas storage facility brought online in 2019 was the North Mist expansion project in Oregon that added 2.5 Bcf of storage.
In West Virginia, the formerly inactive Heizer A-1/Big Lime field was returned to service, adding 2.7 Bcf of natural gas storage.
Demonstrated peak capacity remained nearly flat, increasing by 3 Bcf or 0.1% for the Lower 48 states in 2019, compared to 2018, the federal agency said.
That marks the first increase in that metric since November 2016, it said.
The increase was driven by rising storage levels and high natural gas production in 2019, along with mild winter temperatures that kept storage levels high, it said.
It said that dozens of natural gas storage fields in the Lower 48 states reported new high demonstrated peaks in 2019 as working gas levels rose above the five-year average for the first time since 2017.
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