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Record Output Slump for Top US Gas Basin Worsened Power Chaos

  • Well freeze-offs sent production plunging in Appalachian Basin
  • Issues were exacerbated by mechanical problems at pipelines

A record production decline in the largest US natural gas basin came just as extreme cold sent demand booming for the commodity used to heat homes and fuel power plants, exacerbating the winter storm crisis that left millions in the dark. 

Supplies from the Appalachian Basin shrank by as much as 9 billion cubic feet, or 27%, from usual levels, according to BloombergNEF estimates based on pipeline flows. That’s a record decline in data going back to 2013. Well freeze-offs sent production plunging by more than 20% in Pennsylvania, while output more than halved in Ohio, constraining supplies into the Northeast and the Tennessee Valley.