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Disparity in natural gas storage levels across the US

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Tanks and Terminals,


Working natural gas inventories at storage facilities operated by the two largest natural gas distributors in California, US – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the north and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in the south – totalled 100.6 billion ft3 as of 30 June 2022, according to publicly-available company data. Although total California inventories are 4% higher than they were one year ago, storage operation and capacity utilisation vary significantly by region.

As of 30 June 2022, PG&E, which accounts for 28% of the working natural gas capacity in Northern California, held approximately 13.0 billion ft3 of natural gas in storage – 40% less than it did one year ago. SoCalGas held 87.6 billion ft3 in working natural gas inventories – 17% more than at the end of June 2021.

California’s 14 storage facilities have a total capacity of 323 billion ft3, which represents 88% of the storage capacity in the Pacific region (California, Oregon, and Washington). Two additional storage facilities are located in the Pacific Northwest, one in Oregon and one in Washington.

About 0.1 billion ft3 more natural gas was withdrawn from storage in Northern California during winter 2021 (from November 2021 through to March 2022) than during the winter of 2020 – 2021. Even though PG&E’s inventories increased by 10.2 billion ft3 so far this injection season (from 1 April 2022 through 10 July), PG&E’s inventories remain 33% below 10 July 2021.

On 11 June 2021, as the result of a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rate Case Final Decision, PG&E reclassified 51.0 billion ft3 of working gas to base gas. PG&E’s inventories declined from 72.9 billion ft3 to 22.0 billion ft3, and the total working gas capacity of PG&E’s storage declined to 52.5 billion ft3 as a result of the reclassification.

During 1H22, natural gas pipeline deliveries from the Pacific Northwest into Northern California decreased by 5% compared with 1H21, resulting in increased withdrawals from storage to meet demand. Natural gas deliveries from the Desert Southwest into Southern California declined by 3%, according to data from PointLogic.

On 4 November 2021, the CPUC decided to allow SoCalGas, operator of four storage facilities in Southern California, to increase its working gas capacity at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility to 41.0 billion ft3 from 34.0 billion ft3 to help ensure energy reliability in the region. As a result, SoCalGas is able to store more locally-produced natural gas, and inventories have increased to 17% above 2021.

Read the article online at: https://www.tanksterminals.com/storage-tanks/02082022/disparity-in-natural-gas-storage-levels-across-the-us/

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