Ours is a dynamic industry, as anyone who bought or sold propane during the “Perfect Storm” conditions from the polar vortex which struck North America during the winter of 2013-’14 shudders to remember.
Before the arrival of this winter, to help better prepare marketers and investors in anticipating what now to expect in near- and far-term forecasts, PERC commissioned Houston-based RBN Energy to conduct a new, 38-page study now available across the industry: Next to You: A Transformation in Propane Markets.
RBN assessed the market developments and prospects for future propane-supply disruptions which led to such turmoil two years ago, and suggests actions for mitigating if not preventing any chance of having to cope with another winter of discontent.
“In a nutshell, we’re in better shape now than we were two years ago, but work remains to be done,” says PERC President and CEO Roy Willis.
The good news? American propane production from gas processing has more than doubled, driving export growth and increasing price exposure to global markets, and much of the new supply is closer and more accessible to the Northeast and Midwest propane demand centers. Likewise, accessibility will only get better as new pipelines, improved rail facilities, and increased storage and export terminals are being added, making propane markets more interconnected, flexible and resilient.
The cloudier forecast: Domestic propane demand will likely remain flat, but spiking demand during an increase of expected extreme-weather events can still test the limits of propane delivery networks. Which means that even as propane inventories remain historically plentiful, propane retailers must remain vigilant and take steps to ensure that an efficient and reliable supply chain works despite the next unexpected storm event.
To download the report free of charge, visit our online catalog.