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Special Research Reports
The Alberta Power and Natural Gas market continue to make the headlines as former is seeing its supply stack change with the retirement of coal plants and increased wind capacity. The latter is tied to what is happening with the summer maintenance restrictions as well as the production growth within the province. » read more
Over the years, the Rockies region has been a focal point in the West. With the landscape changing across several adjoining regions, the Rockies is once going to be in the spotlight. In this report, we detail the short, mid and long term fundamental changes impacting the overall production supply in the Rockies. » read more
Featured Articles
Tuesday Jun 9, 2015   
With the ships heading back out to sea yesterday, the 2015 Rose Festival is in the books and the committee could not have asked for a better two and a half weeks.  If anyone has lived in the Portland long enough, the slogan 'it always rains during Rose Festival' has held true over the years.  Not this year, as the beginning part of the festival, there was nothing but blue skies and moderate temperatures.  It was only last week Monday/Tuesday did any real rain actually hit the area.  That was quickly replaced by the scorching heat we saw move into ... » read more
Monday Jun 8, 2015   
Last week's EIA number showed record high injections of 132 BCF during the week ending 5/29, putting total storage to 2,233 BCF. Stepping back, this put the previous four week injection average to 16.0 BCF/D. In comparison, during this same stretch the prior year, injections averaged 15.8 BCF/D. This 0.2 BCF/D increase in injections is a key indicator of how the current supply/demand balance compares to previous years. An increase in injections means the supply side of the equation is increasing relative to the demand side, and vice versa. Thus the 0.2BCF/D increase ... » read more
Friday Jun 5, 2015   
Portland’s Rose Festival has just started bringing in 12 ships on the Willamette River, from US Coast board, US Navy Vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy.  The local news is reporting the low river levels on the Willamette are causing some of the larger ships to anchor in the middle of the river instead of the banks of the river.  The vessels will be linked with scaffolding so visitors will have to walk across smaller ships to reach ships in the middle of the river.  How low is the Willamette?  See Figure 1 below. Figure ... » read more
Thursday Jun 4, 2015   
As we head into the first full weekend of June, I thought it would be a good time to check in on the health of the California generation stack. Let us first start by taking a look at the hydro situation.  As we have mentioned in the past, the California drought like year is in its 4th year.  For the past three years in the fall, we start out the conversation by saying with last year under our belt, this upcoming year cannot be much worse.  The issue is it has with this year coming in even lower than last year, from a snow water equivalent. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 3, 2015   
It felt a little weird putting on the waterproof rain jacket as I left the house the past couple of days.  In a normal spring, this would not be an uncommon occurrence as the early part of June usually brings some sort of rain event.  But prior to Monday and Tuesday's thunder and lightning storms, this winter and spring have both presented nothing but warm and dry conditions.  Over the past few months, we have continued to discuss how the high pressure system that not moving off the Pacific Northwest coast is bringing us nothing but above normal ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 2, 2015   
The EIA released the Natural Gas monthly on Friday, the 29th of May. This report provides in depth data on supply, demand, and storage on a two month lag. The most recent report therefore covered through the end of March 2015, giving an updated picture of what’s going on in the system. Analyzing this report, we first started by looking at consumption and storage data for March. In addition, the production appeared to fall sharply for the quarter thanks to revised data, however the decline is likely a statistical quirk rather than genuine change. Consumption ... » read more
Monday Jun 1, 2015   
When you watch a horse race of any magnitude, the first 3/4 of a mile is designed around each jockey trying to get their horse in position for the final big push as they come around the final turn and make their way to the finish line. Since they all have to get to the same destination, there are some horses that have to put on an all out sprint while others are just trying to hold on.  So what does this have to do with West Power, in particular the Pacific Northwest, you should ask? Since we are into June now, the Pacific Northwest's hydro year is on the final ... » read more
Friday May 29, 2015   
Yesterday’s EIA storage number showed an injection of 112 BCF, which was about 7 BCF above expectations. The 1 BCF/D excess was a bearish price signal to the market and in turn the prompt month (now July) ended up trading down $0.135 or about 5%. Prior to July being the prompt month, it traded between the $2.784 and $3.07 marks for the month of May.  The shift down yesterday sliced right through the lower end of the band as it ended up settling just under the $2.71 mark. Figure 1 | July Henry Hub Settle Prices prior to it being prompt month ... » read more
Thursday May 28, 2015   
As we start a new month next week (June), the forecasts continue to show some heat moving through both Northern and Southern California.  Per the CAISO demand forecast, the peak load looks to be coming in around 32,000 MW.  As you can see in the graph to the right in Figure 1, the load is dispersed across all three load regions with SCE and SDGE having the biggest spike up; whereas PGAE is showing a steady increase through June 3rd.  Figure 1 | CAISO Peak Demand - Daily Such a heat event will trigger the solar output to increase as well with the ... » read more
Wednesday May 27, 2015   
Over the past couple of weeks, McNary flows have been averaging north of 212 Kfcs across the 24 hour period. Part of this has been due to increased side and Lower Snake flows.  The latter has been averaging around 62-65 kcfs range over the past week or so.  This is up almost 10-15 Kfcs from the middle of the month. Figure 1 | Little Goose Hourly Flows - Lower Snake Add to it, flows out of Canada have ticked up as International Boundary has gone from averaging just over 100 Kcfs to pushing through 114 Kcfs yesterday.  Up until yesterday, Grand Coulee ... » read more
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