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California Natural Gas Data and Statistics

Overview

Photographic image of natural gas stove burner from iStock Photo - Stock_000004760070

Demand for natural gas falls mainly into four sectors - residential, commercial, industrial, and electric power generation. Very small amounts are also used for vehicle fuel, and for production and transmitting natural gas to consumers. While the supply of natural gas in the United States and production in the Lower 48 states has increased greatly since 2008, California produces little, and imports 90 percent of natural gas. Most imports are delivered via interstate pipelines from the Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Canada. California, which is located at the end of the southwestern interstate pipeline system, is vulnerable to disruptions in supply and fluctuations in transportation prices. California has increased both the number of pipeline connections to sources outside the state and gas storage capacity. These measures provide access to multiple supply sources and help mitigate the impact of disruption in supply or price spikes on any one supply basin or pipeline.

Dispatchable natural gas-fired generation is the dominant source of electricity and accounted for 43 percent of all generation in California in 2012. As California and the rest of the nation strive to integrate a higher percentage of renewable-derived energy into their electricity generation portfolio, the role of natural gas will likely change. In addition, the closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station and retirement of once-through cooling generation facilities in California will require replacement generation, some of which will likely come from natural gas-fired generation.

 

Facts & Stats