The reliability of natural gas saved lives in Oklahoma when an Arctic blast plunged the state into a frigid deep freeze. On February 16, when the National Weather Service recorded a temperature of -14°F at Will Rogers World Airport, it marked one of the coldest days ever recorded in Oklahoma. That same day, electricity generated from natural gas had tripled from two weeks prior, accounting for 29 percent of the electricity generated by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).
The electricity generated was in addition to the natural gas used to heat homes and businesses across the state. For many Oklahomans who lost power during the frigid weather, natural gas was their only source of heat.
BOTTOM LINE: When it was needed most, Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry both heated homes and provided immediate baseload power to Oklahoma and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) during the severe weather emergency.
SOUTHWEST POWER POOL (SPP)
DAILY GENERATION MIX
FEB. 3 VS. FEB. 16
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) said natural gas consumption during the worst of the storm (Feb. 11-17) hit an all-time record. Additionally, production supply rose Feb. 18-24, despite many reported disruptions. It was the single best week overall of U.S. natural gas deliverability, and it occurred during an acute crisis while production bounced back.
During the coldest days of the winter storm – when the need for power was greatest – the intermittent nature of renewable energy was highlighted. Natural gas provided the increased electrical generation in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) that helped meet the surge in demand to keep homes powered and warm.
Natural gas produced in Oklahoma provided immediate baseload power to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) during the severe weather emergency.
Oklahoma’s energy infrastructure must undergo a critical review of storage and capacity plus the practical impacts of renewable mandates, dispatch priorities, subsidies for renewable energy and stresses on the system.
Energy production and transfer systems are always challenged by multiple days of sub-freezing temperatures, but the people of Oklahoma oil and gas worked around the clock in life-threatening conditions to keep equipment working and natural gas flowing to save lives.
All industry sectors represented by The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma — upstream, midstream and downstream — are committed to working with electricity providers to ensure reliable power supplies for Oklahoma and to review contingency plans for these types of weather conditions.
500 NE 4TH Street, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73104