We are seeing a battle between the rapid declines of shale-gas wells older than a year vs. hundreds (it might be 1300) of wells that have been completed but not hooked into the distribution system.
Further complicating analysis is the fact that almost a third of the country's nuclear fleet is down, refueling, Hurricane Sandy, San Onofre etc. putting more of the burden on the peaker gas generators which have been substituting for base capacity.
From the EIA:
Released: November 1, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. (eastern time) for the Week Ending October 26, 2012.Last month the EIA released the annual "Peak Underground Working Natural Gas Storage Capacity" which pretty much blew any chance of total U.S. capacity being exceeded:
Next Release: November 8, 2012
Working gas in storage was 3,908 Bcf as of Friday, October 26, 2012, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 65 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 136 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 259 Bcf above the 5-year average of 3,649 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 49 Bcf above the 5-year average following net injections of 34 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 159 Bcf above the 5-year average of 1,118 Bcf after a net injection of 23 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 51 Bcf above the 5-year average after a net addition of 8 Bcf. At 3,908 Bcf, total working gas is above the 5-year historical range....MORE
OverviewThe most interesting bit of information in the Capacity release is for the Producing Region:
EIA estimates that the demonstrated peak working gas capacity for U.S. underground working natural gas storage for the Lower 48 states rose by 3 percent, or 136 billion cubic feet (Bcf), between April 2011 and April 2012. It then totaled 4,239 Bcf. Most of the increase came in the form of more use of traditional storage in the West (56 Bcf) and salt cavern storage in the Producing region (58 Bcf). Salt cavern storage allows rapid injection and withdrawal to respond to market conditions and other short-term events. Demonstrated peak working natural gas in the East rose by only 14 Bcf (less than 1 percent), but this small increase coincided with the rapid growth of production from the Marcellus Shale...MORE
1,417 Bcf Demonstrated Peak
1,458 Bcf Design Capacity
At this week's 1,277 Bcf Producing Region max is getting close.