If the winter of 2013/14 in the Mid-continent was a “10” in terms of a challenge, then this most recent winter was about a “5”. After the hurdles of winter 2013/14, this was a cakewalk. Below is brief summary of the winter:
- Weather: In terms of heating degree days, it was pretty much normal overall in the Mid-continent area with Nov14 and Feb15 trending colder than normal and the remaining months being warmer. Across the country was warmer to the west and colder to the east. For example, it was a bit colder than normal in Eastern Iowa and then worse as you move east with Chicago at 10% colder and further east up to 15% colder than normal. Much of that can be attributed to sustained snow coverage in the northeast.
- Gas Storage: During the winter of 13/14, gas storage nationally was drawn down to an 11-year low of about 800 Bcf (going into the season at about 3,800). This winter, we finished the heating season at only about 10% below the 5-year average at about 1,450 Bcf.
- Operations: During the winter of 13/14, there were constant operational flow orders for the Dec-Apr period making it a tremendous challenge. This past winter was much more “normal” with less extreme operational issues.
- Gas Market: The market was much less volatile this past winter with prices remaining soft given ample supply from ever-increasing production.
Like all previous winters, Encore Energy still takes great pride in the fact that we protect customers from penalties and punitive monthly cashouts. We can still tout the fact that Encore has not charged any penalties to customers nor have we ever interrupted flow at any time.