Texas Fires Trip Power Demand; Oil, Gas Output Appears Unaffected

Friday, September 09, 2011

Oil and natural gas production in Texas remained steady Friday as operators remained on alert due to the proliferation of wildfires across the state, but there was some easing of power demand in connection with the fires, companies said.

Evacuations from and damage in fire-hit communities have brought about a power demand loss equating to a total dent in natural gas demand of nearly 1 Bcf over the last three days, according to a report Friday by analysts at Bentek Energy. Bentek is a unit of Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Fires and extreme drought conditions in eastern Texas as well as parts of Louisiana and Oklahoma pose threats to oil and gas operations in the region, Bentek added.

Yet, a sampling of production receipts from East Texas and Louisiana "has not yet shown a decline in production receipts that could be directly attributable to the fires," the report said. The Haynesville Shale, which lies below eastern Texas and Louisiana, normally produces around 5 Bcf/d, according to Bentek.

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