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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Natural Gas Storage - Background

The use of underground natural gas storage facilities is almost as old as the development of long distance transmission lines. The first high transmission lines began operations in 1891 with successful construction of two parallel 120-mile, 8-inch diameter lines from fields in northern Indiana to Chicago. The first successful gas storage project was completed in 1915 in Welland County, Ontario. The following year, operations began in the Zoar field (1916) near Buffalo, New York.

Underground natural gas storage can be used to effectively balance a variable market with a nearly constant supply of natural gas provided by the Pipeline system. Storage fields (reservoir or reservoirs) are the warehouses that give a ready supply of natural gas that can serve a market with high peak demands in warm or cold weather.

Generally, more natural gas is used during the winter because many homes are heated by natural gas. Therefore, natural gas is injected into storage fields during the summer (April - October), and withdrawn in the winter (November - March). However, recent increases in the amount of gas fired power generation have resulted in daily variances in the amount of natural gas being used.

For more detailed information about natural gas storage, visit the following websites:

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