May 2014, Vol. 241, No. 5

Features

Confluence Of Events Underscores Problems Getting Propane To Market

That so many Americans found themselves without enough propane to heat their homes adequately this winter can be attributed to several factors. Oddly enough, though, experts agree none of these involve an actual shortage of fuel. The production of propane, which is a byproduct of natural gas production and crude oil refining, has never been so prolific – increasing to 1.39 MMbpd in October 2013 from 1.29 MMbpd a year earlier, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This actually led to many months in which record surpluses were reported. “Production is obviously not the source of the problem,” said Mark Bridgers, a design and construction consultant at

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