In a part of the world where enduring a cold winter is often seen as a badge of honor, the latest cold blast that descended on Canada just before Christmas — and during Christmas in the U.S. — was another one for the natural gas record books. By almost every measure, the recent frigid temperatures, though not long-lasting, set new Canadian records for daily demand, storage withdrawals, and net exports to the U.S., and went well beyond the records set during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. In today’s RBN blog, we delve into the latest record-busting Canadian gas data.
Yeah, it’s winter in Canada, where snow, cold, and long, dark nights are countered by plenty of natural gas to keep schools, businesses, and millions of homes warm across the nation — and in many parts of the U.S., where Canadian natural gas is still an important part of the supply mix. That omnipresent blue flame of combusting natural gas is most appreciated when extreme cold snaps set in across parts — or most of — North America, as was the case leading up to and during the Christmas break this year. Unlike Winter Storm Uri 23 months ago (see East is East, West is West and Terminal Frost), which crippled large parts of the U.S. natural gas network for more than a week as far south as the Houston Ship Channel, the latest barrage of Arctic cold that swept across Canada and into the U.S. — known as Winter Storm Elliott — only stayed a few days, but it still managed to generate some havoc — and new records for the Canadian gas market.
It wasn’t that long ago (February 2021) that we last discussed what seemed to be out-of-this-world, record-setting results for the Canadian gas market in You Rock My World. Those records coincided with the aforementioned gas market chaos that came with Winter Storm Uri, where parts of the U.S. market received a bailout thanks to Canadian gas. Though dealing with its own brutal cold snap at the time and record-setting demand, Canadians were happy to open up the valves and send (then) record amounts of natural gas to their southern neighbor when it needed it most, given that significant amounts of U.S. domestic gas production had been shut in due to wellhead freeze-offs stretching from the Bakken to the Permian. Canadian gas exports were instrumental in preventing widespread loss of life in many Northern states during the worst of Uri’s wrath.
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