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Featured Articles
Thursday Dec 31, 2015   
The last week of 2015 has been rather cold across the entire Western region as Denver is staring at lows in the single digits most of the week while the Desert Southwest shifted down into the low 30's in some places.  Southern California is coming out of its coldest days of the year with Burbank down in the mid 30's as well.   Figure 1 | Denver Temperatures - Daily Actuals vs. Forecast Such a cold weather event has kept the overall wind generation from providing any type of added MW to the grid as the Pacific Northwest has seen the daily averages come in ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 30, 2015   
Around the middle of December, both the Desert Southwest and Southern California experienced below normal temperatures to a point that SoCal Gas Sendouts topped the 4 BCF mark.  After doing some analysis, such a number made sense because when the daily average temperature drops in the 42-46 degree range in Southern California the average Sendouts sit around the 4.05 BCF mark historically. Figure 1 | SoCal Ambient Average Temperatures and Sendouts As you can see in Figure 1, it was not until the end of the year, last December that the overall Sendouts spiked up ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 29, 2015   
Over the weekend, the overall Natural Gas Production numbers shifted down from 71.5 BCF on the 23rd to just over 66 BCF as of this morning's report.  This is over a 5.5 BCF swing in the last 6 days. Figure 1 | EGPS Production - Daily Looking at the new EIA regional breakout, you can see the shift down started in the East where the Lower/Upper Marcellus was getting a strong price signal last week to shut in production.  This was due to abnormally warm weather conditions across Pennsylvania and New York and other parts of the East Coast. Figure 2 | ... » read more
Monday Dec 28, 2015   
With some colder weather moving into the the Portland metro area yesterday afternoon and the jet stream dropping some precipitation in the area, the combination created our version of a white Christmas a couple of days late as Portland saw its first snowflakes of the year.  As you peer out into the mountain range East of Portland, you quickly realize that the lower elevation's snowpack has increased over the past week or so as there is a nice white blanket of snowpack sitting on the hillside.  The further up you go, the more snow there is and it is making ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 23, 2015   
Over the past few weeks, the weather pattern has reminded me of the movie Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy switch roles per a $1.00 bet by wealthy brokers who work on the floor of the exchange.  In the movie, Dan and Eddie's characters trade places to see how they do in their new environment.  The natural gas landscape is taking on a similar theme in recent weeks as the Northeast part of the continental United States has been well above normal while California and the Desert Southwest has seen below normal temperatures starting last week. » read more
Tuesday Dec 22, 2015   
Over the weekend, we started to get a glimpse into how the first few days of 2016 were going to look and what we saw was some colder weather.  This has been a rare occurrence as of late given that the 8-14 day period has been showing nothing by red/maroon across the Midwest and Eastern parts of the country.  This change in the weather pattern prompted the January contract to move up $0.144 to close out at $1.911. Figure 1 | Nymex Prompt Month Daily Close   What is pretty amazing is, who would have expected the January contract to be sitting below the ... » read more
Monday Dec 21, 2015   
As I watched the Green Bay Packers play the Oakland Raiders yesterday, it gave me a good glimpse of how much rain has been falling in Northern California over the past two days.  At kickoff, there was a light sprinkle coming down and by the time the first quarter was coming to an end, the rain picked up.  After halftime, not only did the rain continue to fall, but the temperatures were dropping as well.  Figure 1 | California Snow Water Equivalent Chart - Northern California As you can see in Figure 1, over the last week or so, this has been the trend ... » read more
Friday Dec 18, 2015   
As we discussed in yesterday's newsletter, it looks like Congress will pass a budget bill that includes a five year renewal of the tax credits for wind and solar. This has become a familiar dance whereby the tax credits either expire or are threatened to expire. The Republicans oppose their renewal/extension. The Democrats favor renewal. And a deal gets done as the year draws to a close or the New Year has just started to renew the tax credits. What's noteworthy this year is the five year extension period instead of the typical two year extension. I guess eliminating ... » read more
Thursday Dec 17, 2015   
The energy news keeps coming at us at a fast and furious pace. The bear market in crude oil and natural gas prices continues to grind on. On Tuesday afternoon natural gas prices fell to a 16-year low. The last time we've seen prices this low was when the dot com bubble was in full swing (remember Flooz?) and the nation was readying itself for the Y2K disaster (all hype). Oil prices continue to drop, with WTI trading around $35 per barrel and Brent trading at about $37 per barrel. Low energy prices have led to weak balance sheets, and those weak balance sheets ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 16, 2015   
There has been a lot of talk about the leak at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas storage facility in Southern California over the past few weeks.  If you are not aware of the situation, Southern California Gas workers reported a leak in the largest storage facility in their system in late October 2015.  Since that time, engineers at the company have been working around the clock to figure out the best method to fix the leak. As of right now, the latest idea is to build a relief well along side the storage facility, in fact they want to build two just in ... » read more
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