EIA: Storage Capacity Flat

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Despite an almost 20% increase in US gas output and a nearly 29% increase in demand since June 2012, lower 48 underground storage capacity has stayed relatively flat over the past decade. US Energy Information Administration data show today's demonstrated peak capacity of 4.25 Tcf is about where it was in 2012 even though the market has ballooned. For instance, exports consisted of a 1.8 Bcf/d flow into Mexico. Today, with LNG feedstock needs, exports are around 17.3 Bcf/d. But without that slug, demand would be roughly 6.7 Bcf/d higher than in 2012 at this time. Two key factors have held storage in check. Relatively flat prices over the period gave marketers little incentive to invest in storage in hopes of reaping a seasonal payday. That means inventory needs are fairly mundane, with utilities storing gas to use when demand exceeds supply. And those needs haven't increased to where more capacity is needed.

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