HOUSTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Working natural gas storage in the contiguous United States was 2,614 billion cubic feet (about 74 billion cubic meters) as of last Friday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Thursday.
Working natural gas is defined as the amount of natural gas stored underground that can be withdrawn for use.
The latest data represents a net decrease of 91 billion cubic feet from the previous week, 204 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 464 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 3,078 billion cubic feet.
According to EIA, at 2,614 billion cubic feet, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
The contiguous United States, or Lower 48 states, consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, which excludes the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, and all off-shore insular areas.
Working natural gas storage capacity can be measured in two ways: design capacity and demonstrated maximum working gas capacity.
According to the report released in March 2018 by EIA, U.S. natural gas design capacity was up slightly, with nationally design capacity up by 0.7 percent, or 34 billion cubic feet, between November 2016 and November 2017, increasing to 4,725 billion cubic feet.
U.S. demonstrated peak storage capacity, in contrast to design capacity, was down in nearly every region and down 1.0 percent for the Lower 48 states as of November 2017 compared with November 2016, or by 46 billion cubic feet, to 4,317 billion cubic feet.