Texas Power Grid braces for freeze that cripples fuel supplies

Texas Power Grid braces for freeze that cripples fuel supplies

During the early January chill, more than 10% of Texas gas production was knocked offline over a two-day period, according to BloombergNEF data. It was the most severe cut since the infamous February 2021 disaster that killed more than 200 people and paralyzed the state for the better part of a week.

The Texas power grid and the natural gas drillers, wind ranches and solar arrays that supply it are confronting their second test in an under a month as sub-zero weather overwhelms the Lone Star state. Temperatures in wide swaths of the second-biggest U.S. state are gauge to plunge to well-beneath typical before long, as per the National Weather Service. The freeze will show up minimal over about fourteen days after the first arctic blast of the year disabled an as-yet undetermined number of gas wells, handling plants and other gear imperative to guaranteeing the steady flow of fuel to electricity generators.

“It is important to remember, however, as we have consistently stated, that some variation in production occurs with sudden temperature changes -– these are field operations, not controlled factory settings,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, said in an email.

Freeze Offs

In Midland, Texas, the unofficial capital of the Permian Basin oil and gas field, temperatures are forecast to bottom out at 18 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 Celsius) on Thursday, 15 degrees below the normal low for that day. Natural gas futures rose as much as 2.4% on Wednesday in New York, extending the previous day’s 0.5% gain.

Gas wells are particularly susceptible to so-called freeze offs because of the high volumes of subterranean water that typically flow out of the ground alongside the fuel. Wind installations also can be knocked offline by intense cold while overcast weather and snow disrupt solar-power output.

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