In July 2017, the Natural Gas Council (NGC) released “Natural Gas Systems: Reliable and Resilient” (NGC Report), a report detailing the characteristics of the U.S. natural gas industry that contribute to its reliability and resilience to weather-related interruption of service, including the ability to compensate for any operational issue and to recover rapidly. Most notable from the July 2017 NGC Report was the finding that the gas pipeline industry exhibited a 99.79 percent reliability in fulfilling its firm contract obligations over the ten years leading to and including 2016. Beginning one month after the release of the NGC Report, a series of significant weather events—two hurricanes and the combination of the Northeast freeze and the Bomb Cyclone—tested the natural gas industry. The industry’s performance through the stress test of those three widely varied and tumultuous events fully reinforced the conclusions of the 2017 NGC Report. The natural gas system performed extremely well during times of high stress and demand demonstrating its reliability and resilience in the most challenging of weather conditions.
The NGC commissioned a second report to study in detail the natural gas industry’s performance through the three aforementioned weather events. This study, “Weather Resilience in the Natural Gas Industry: The 2017-18 Test and Results,” (the NGC Resilience Study) was conducted by RBN Energy, LLC and was compiled from a review of press accounts, regional transmission operators’ reports, government reports, and detailed interviews with 25 affected companies. The following Executive Summary details key elements and conclusions of the NGC Resilience Study.