Midwest Energy watching natural gas pipeline supplies for Hays, Ellis, WaKeeney
With record-breaking cold gripping much of our region through next week, Midwest Energy’s natural gas schedulers have been busy lining up sufficient gas supply to meet demand when temperatures plunge below -10 degrees this weekend.
“We have spent the last several days on the phones, buying enough gas to get us through this cold spell,” said Bill Dowling, Midwest Energy’s Vice President for Engineering and Energy Supply. “Loads on the upstream pipeline that serves the Hays, Ellis and WaKeeney areas will strain the amount of available gas supplies, but unless conditions worsen, we believe we’ll be okay,” Dowling said. “Throughout the rest of the system, we see fewer issues that could impact gas supply.”
Dowling added that due to the ongoing freezing temperatures, gas supplies throughout the Midwestern U.S. are tight, and that the available gas is priced very high relative to just weeks ago. While Midwest buys a portion of its gas on contract in advance, Dowling said customers are burning “significantly more gas” keeping homes, businesses, hospitals and schools warm, and electric generating facilities throughout the region have ramped up the use of natural gas. Thus, the company has had to purchase additional gas on the spot market to make up the difference. Any fluctuations in the price of gas will be averaged out over the next year, and will be adjusted annually in February 2022.
Midwest Energy encourages all customers to make sure furnaces are operating at peak efficiency, and changing furnace filters as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure airflow isn’t restricted. Closing furnace registers and doors to unoccupied rooms is another way to keep occupied rooms warmer, reducing consumption. #