Some western U.S. natgas wells freeze, up to 1 bcfd affected

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cold weather in the western United States over the past several weeks has disrupted natural gas production, curbing supplies after water in wells froze, energy traders and analysts said on Wednesday.

"The colder weather moved into the West in late December and we have started to see a production drop off in January from December across the West," said Ryan Smith, energy analyst with Bentek Energy in Colorado.

"The San Juan Basin is where we're seeing the largest drop in production from freeze-offs, there's about 330 million cubic feet offline compared to December's average production," Smith said.

Smith said the San Juan Basin, which stretches across southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, is especially susceptible to freeze-offs due to the water production in those areas.

Freezing temperatures cause production losses when cold temperatures crystallize the small amounts of water produced with natural gas, forcing blockages at the wellhead and often resulting in low linepack on connecting natural gas pipeline systems.

To read the full article, please click here.