A CBC report reveals the province of Saskatchewan came close to running out of natural gas this past winter as the brutal cold and a booming economy conspired to draw down stocks.
“We basically stared down Snowmaggedon`` a spokesperson for SaskEnergy was quoted as saying.
At one point the provinces 26 storage caverns were “pretty near empty” as the cold temperatures continued into March. So depleted were stocks that the province’s natural gas supplier, SaskEnergy, was forced to cut fuel deliveries to some industrial customers for the first time in the history of the province.
The Saskatchewan economy has been booming and natural gas consumption is higher now than many thought would be the case. The extremely cold winter saw more gas than usual used. This spring SaskEnergy began refilling the 26 natural gas storage caverns. The company will spend $100 million this year to upgrade the delivery system. Some in the province are warning that the region needs to plan for more volatile weather patterns that are becoming normal as a result of climate change.
New England and Southern California also experienced tight gas supplies and high prices this winter. This spring, however, the price of natural gas has been relatively low as gas reserves have been refilled faster than many thought would be the case. New fracked shale sources of natural gas saw natural gas production in North America hit a record amounts last month.