To better represent the changing geographic dynamics of natural gas storage across the United States, the EIA has re-districted the storage regions into five groups and will now include Alaska.
Industrial Sector Sees Drop in Consumption
Given the milder temps along the East coast and across the Midwest, overall energy consumption is down, particularly in the industrial sector, but 2016 is expected to return to 2014 levels. The dip in residential consumption could be related to the increase in customers using solar power.
This year, we saw residential energy prices decrease and basically flattened out through the summer months. This is different than what we have experienced in years past, however, given the natural gas glut and high storage volumes, it is to be expected.
What's Underground by Region 2015-2016
Despite record-setting inventory in late November, the EIA estimates that October 2016 will fall short of 2015's 4,009 bcf storage levels. The South Central has the highest storage capacity of the five regions, and typically peaks at the end of November, whereas the East and Midwest usually have net withdrawals in November. This is consistent with weather patterns in the respective regions. Temperature remains the most significant independent factor in storage withdrawals and injections.
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