Low Injections Reflect Already High Natural Gas Storage Inventories

September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9

The increase in U.S. working natural gas inventories nearly half way through the 2012 injection season – the period from April through October when most natural gas is stored underground to help meet heating demand during the upcoming winter – was the lowest in 12 years.

The slow start to the injection season reflects record-high inventories at the end of this winter, leaving less space to be filled, and a large increase in natural gas use by the U.S. electric sector for power generation.

EIA estimates that by November working natural gas inventories will hit a record high, exceeding 3,900 Bcf. U.S. dry natural gas production was up almost 7% from January through May compared to the same period in 2011, so natural gas injections have not shifted lower due to a downturn in domestic natural gas production.