This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 13, 2003

EIA: Growing U.S. Stores of Natural Gas Show Promise for Winter

DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted last week that the amount of natural gas in storage in the United States has increased at historically high rates over the past two months. Relatively mild weather across much of the United States has reduced the need to use natural gas for electricity production, allowing much of it to be injected into underground storage instead. By the end of July, the amount of usable natural gas in storage was estimated to be about 17 percent below last year's level and about 9 percent below the five- year average for July. According to EIA, such a "solid gain" in natural gas storage levels "bolsters the chance that natural gas inventories may return to normal by the start of the heating season." Based on this inventory, the EIA projects that prices at the wellhead will stay just under $5 per thousand cubic feet for the remainder of 2003 and then will drop another 16 percent in 2004. See the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook.