27 August 2007 23:04 [Source: ICIS news]
The latest production figures for the
In August 2006, Gulf gas production was approximately 9.1 bcf/d or 9% below pre-storms output.
According to the Minerals Management Service (MMS) within the Interior Department and the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), Gulf gas output has declined steadily in the last 12 months to around 7.7 bcf/d, chiefly because of accelerating depletion of existing gas wells.
The effect on
“We’ve been fortunate with mild weather since early 2006,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
Natural gas typically sees peak demand periods in the North American winter and summer months because it is widely used to heat homes in cold weather and to generate electricity for air conditioning in hot periods.
“We had two mild winters with less [natural gas] draw for heating and two mild summers - thus far for 2007 - which has resulted in less demand for air conditioning,” Swift said.
Paul Cicio, president of Industrial Energy Consumers of America, a political action group that represents chemical manufacturers and other industries that rely on natural gas, said that rapid depletion of mature gas wells in shallower waters of the Gulf has helped pull daily production totals down. That view is reflected by officials at the EIA’s
Cicio also blames the US Congress for long delays in authorizing development in eastern Gulf waters.
Additional Gulf capacity is coming on stream from deep water developments, EIA and MMS said, but those new wells have not come on line fast enough to offset depletion.
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