Natural Gas Use
Posted: September 13, 2015
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provided a graphic of the natural gas seasonal consumption patterns last week. As to be expected, the largest peak is in the winter when the cold weather increases natural gas space heating in residential and commercial sectors. In the summer, air conditioning increases demand for electric power, which has been increasingly been provided by gas-fired generators.
Residential natural gas use ranges from 3 billion cubic feet/day (Bcf/d) in the summer to more than 30 Bdf/d in the winter. Commercial use ranges from 4 Bcf in the summer versus 16 Bcf/d in the winter. Industrial users show least seasonality, ranging from 18 Bcf/d in the summer to 22 Bcf/d in the winter. While industrial consumption of natural gas was declining from 1997 to 2009, there’s been an increase in the past five years
Natural gas storage has been the key to handling these seasonal use swings. Natural gas storage levels tend to be highest sometime between the end of October and mid-November and lowest at the end of winter. EIA's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report shows that most injections occur between April and October and most withdrawals occur between November and March.