The significant cold snap in December resulted in a 110 Bcf demand day on December 10. While 100 Bcf plus consumption days are not uncommon as
peaks, they more usually happen in January or February not early December. Heating load, industrial process and plant heating, additional power generation requirements have all contributed to the robust December consumption.
On the supply side, temporary production area well freeze-offs that are not uncommon in the intermountain west during cold periods extended to other areas and probably contributed to the strong withdrawals from storage in mid-December.
The argument can be made that while a decided shift to more onshore production creates protection from hurricane induced supply disruptions, it also adds sensitivity to extremely cold conditions and that flowing production could be impacted more now than when productive capability was more centered in the gulf region.
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