Posted February 12, 2014
Winter Highlights for U.S. Infrastructure Updates
Reuters: Freezing temperatures are hampering U.S. natural gas deliveries this winter despite ample production of the heating fuel, exposing weaknesses in a supply network strained by unprecedented demand.
The United States is home to some of the world's largest natural gas deposits and supplies have flooded the market over the last five years, erasing concerns about dwindling output.
But the coldest winter in decades has drained stockpiles quicker than ever, forced rationing, and pushed prices to all-time highs, revealing the difficulties of storing and transporting fuel across the continent.
Unlike for crude oil, there is no government run strategic reserve that can be tapped in times of emergency.
In many ways it is no surprise that supply for natural gas is strained. January saw two blasts of arctic cold, boosting heating demand for homes and businesses in most of the country to record highs. Other heating fuels like propane and fuel oil have suffered supply shortages.
The severe cold has also revealed potential structural shortfalls that could push prices higher not just this summer as depleted inventories are restocked, but in coming years if investments are not made to increase storage and pipeline capacity.
Read more: http://reut.rs/1gvjtiT
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.