An analysis that was commissioned by the Texas Oil and Gas Association concluded that power outages that originated at power generation units caused natural gas production and transportation reductions or shutdowns during Winter Storm Uri. According to a press release from Enverus, the organization that prepared the analysis, because of the extreme cold weather during the storm, “natural gas production and transportation were impacted because surface facilities and infrastructure rely heavily on electricity for operations.” Subsequently, “power outages at natural gas facilities impaired the ability of power generations to receive natural gas supplies.”
In a statement, Todd Staples, the president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, expressed that “Texans deserve a serious, thoughtful, factual evaluation of what really went wrong” in the February storm.
“Based on a thorough review of available data, the most immediate and direct action to ensure sufficient operations of natural gas producers, transporters and storage during future emergencies will be supply chain mapping to identify the infrastructure that is going into the natural gas generators and local distribution companies and, ultimately, ensure power remains to those natural gas production, distribution and storage facilities,” Stapes detailed.
Staples also noted that “mapping will help prioritize critical load designations of those key facilities, and improved communications from response teams will ensure greater coordination from all participants in the process.”
Regarding the necessary reforms to ensure that something like the February storm doesn’t happen again, the press release explains “that Texas is a net exporter of natural gas, meaning Texas produces vast volumes of natural gas in excess of in-state demand.” As a result, “a significant shortcoming of our current system is taking steps necessary to ensure this abundant supply is also available, even in times of crisis.”
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s electric grid operator, lost control of the power supply, and this led to 2 million Texas households losing heat and other electric appliances.