America’s largest natural gas producer, EQT Corp, has experienced a plunge in production up to 30% due to severe cold weather that led to Appalachian Basin well disruption, Bloomberg reports.
Speaking to Bloomberg Television on Wednesday, EQT Chief Executive Officer Toby Rice said output fell by between 1 billion and 1.5 billion cubic feet per day amid the extreme cold snap that started last week with a blast of Arctic air and strong winds leading to subzero temperatures affecting an estimated 150 million people.
In Q3 2022, EQT was producing around 5 billion cubic feet per day.
Rice said output should be restored to normal in the “next couple of days”.
The EQT executive is using this loss of production as a public stage for slamming renewable power sources, which he told Bloomberg “didn’t show up”, applauding the natural gas industry’s ability to respond quickly to severe weather conditions and calling for more natural gas pipelines to shore up heating and power supplies.
Last month, Rice said in a public statement that increasing natural gas production and building more pipelines was the answer to climate change, global poverty and a host of other problems.
Overall, the Appalachian Basin saw natural gas output drop by 9 billion cubic feet–a 27% plunge. According to Bloomberg NEF, that drop was the biggest since 2013. The production drop in the region wreaked havoc on energy grids, which suffered from lower volumes of gas being piped to gas-fired power generation units.
Production was most profoundly hit in Ohio, which experienced a nearly 50% output drop as Winter Storm Elliott raged through both Ohio and Pennsylvania, which saw a 20% decline in output.
On Tuesday, Natural Gas Intelligence said that early production data showed that U.S. output was around 80-86 billion cubic feet per day, far below the trend of around 100 billion cubic feet per day over the past months.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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