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    US Industrial Gas Use Down 21%: EIA


Decline attributed to Covid-19 related lockdowns

by: Dale Lunan

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US Industrial Gas Use Down 21%: EIA

Natural gas use by the US industrial sector was down nearly 21% between January and June this year, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said September 24 – a direct result of the economic lockdowns forced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 25.4bn ft3/day in January, industrial gas consumption fell to 20.1bn ft3/day in June, the EIA said in its Natural Gas Weekly Update.

“The decline in industrial sector natural gas consumption compared with the previous year began in March 2020, amid responses to…Covid-19 that resulted in a global economic slowdown,” the agency said. “Industrial sector consumption reached its lowest point in May 2020, falling by 8% compared with 2019 levels.”

In its September Short Term Energy Outlook, the EIA expects annual consumption of natural gas by US industries to fall by 4.4% this year before recovering somewhat in 2021, when growth will reach 1.1%.

Spot natural gas prices at the Henry Hub rose modestly over the past week, the EIA said in its update, to $1.74/mn Btu on September 23 from $1.66/mn Btu on September 17. Similarly, October contract futures prices increased to $2.125/mn Btu from $2.042/mn Btu, while November contracts rose to $2.794/mn Btu from $2.577/mn Btu.