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Tuesday Oct 29, 2019   
SoCal Gas can finally start wiping the mud off its face. For the past four years the utility has been under fire due to a number of infrastructure issues that have plagued its system. The ruptures at the Aliso Canyon storage cavern and the 235-2 pipeline outside of Bakersfield forced the utility to cut back on system pressures. This safety measure put service reliability at risk. Now after years of public humiliation, the utility has turned the corner. Restoration has now been finished on several pipes in the north part of their system and they are starting to return pressures. Aliso Canyon has also been deemed safe to operate and should see increased use this winter as a source of in ground supply. The hard work and efforts by SoCal Gas employees to overcome these hurdles should garner ... » read more
Monday Oct 28, 2019   
With the Pacific Northwest overnight lows dropping this week, all eyes will be on the power and natural gas markets as the former still is exposed to electric baseboard heating demand as well as other power resources such as space heaters to warm up the space.  The latter is looking at restrictions at the T-South compressor that have been in play all month.  The current flows out at the top of the system have been sitting around the 1.25 BCF/d mark in recent days with roughly .65 BCF/d making its way into the Pacific Northwest via the Sumas compressor (which connects the Westcoast and Northwest Pipelines).  With moderate rescom demand this past week and ample power burns, this was still enough to not pull from Jackson Prairie as long as the .52 BCF still moved from the ... » read more
Friday Oct 25, 2019   
Over the past year, the Pacific Northwest natural gas market has been on it's tippy-toes as the 36 inch Enbridge pipeline explosion rocked Shelley, BC last October.  Since that time, the T-South compressor flows have been the focal point as it is the main artery to getting gas down to Vancouver, BC and ultimately into the Pacific Northwest via the Sumas Compressor.  We track these flows in our BC to PNW Natural Gas Balance dashboard in a daily basis as it gives us a good proxy to where the pinch point have been, will be and what to expect as in the coming days. Figure 1 | BC to PNW Pipeline Balance Summary Over the past year, we have seen the Sumas gas hub cash market explode at times when there were not enough molecules to go around for rescom, industrial and power ... » read more
Thursday Oct 24, 2019   
The nuclear bailout plan in Ohio doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. It is the latest in a long line of nuclear subsidies that have kept uneconomic generation running throughout the East and Midwest. The rival group, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts (OACB), attempted to put the legislation on the 2020 ballot but was unable to obtain the necessary signatures. Figure 1 | Davis-Besse Nuclear Facility Outside Toledo While other plans also faced challenges, the Ohio bill was the most strongly opposed. Unlike other nuclear subsidies that have gone into effect recently, the bill that was passed in Ohio also includes a subsidy towards coal generation. The law was initially proposed under the guise of reducing carbon and increasing air quality. However, later amendments lumped coal ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 23, 2019   
The Tuesday day-ahead CAISO heavy load auction print ripped up to $56.59 for SP15 as the power demand was something to be wreckoned with.  When you throw in the fact that the AC and DC interies are derated and Mead flows flat-lined due to a constraint on the grid, the only option to balance the grid was to turn on in-state generation.  With PGAE's system already flexing as much as it can between the midday and evening ramp, the solution was to turn on generation within SCE's territory. Figure 1 | CAISO Day-Ahead Heavy Load Scheduled Generation This is evident in the figure above as the top pane represents PGAE while the bottom two detail the scheduled day-ahead generation profile for SCE and SDGE respectively.  If you look at the past two days (furthest to the right), you ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 22, 2019   
Reliability concerns have caught up with the Alberta gas market this month. Now that we are on the cusp of the withdrawal season they are making a last ditch effort to shore up supply. From April through September, the NGTL system injected 52 BCF which took the cavern inventory to 256 BCF. That was an average of 9 BCF per month and left the total storage capacity at 59% full. In just the first 20 days of October they have been able to inject 19 BCF taking the inventory up to 275 BCF. That narrows the year on year storage deficit from 80 to 59 BCF. This does not cure all of Alberta's woes but it certainly helps the cause for a stable supply environment for the coming heating season.    Figure 1 | NGTL Storage Injections for 2017 - 2019 How do you miraculously find an ... » read more
Monday Oct 21, 2019   
It is not quite $9,000 but the concept is the same within ERCOT as Saturday's day-ahead auction clear saw a spike during the middle of the day.  This spike was due to the fact that the wind hourly profile was taking a nose dive while the power demand was at its peak for the day.  The figure below has the 19th sticking out like a sore thumb as the light blue coloration at the bottom of the graph is the closest thing to 0 mw while the red line (power demand) shoots up. Figure 1 | ERCOT Net Load Display From a price perspective, the auction clear for the given hour in question spiked up to $124.70 in the North Zone whereas the previous day saw the same hour (17) settle in at $20.70.  This is just another indication that every grid tied to the growing renewable known as ... » read more
Friday Oct 18, 2019   
The Western markets have grabbed the attention of many over the past few years as SoCal Gas's infrastructure seemed to be falling apart starting with Aliso Canyon and then moving to the pipelines themselves as a fire broke out around the Mojave compressor.  The constrainted the North Zone of SoCal's system and as a result solidified SoCal Citygate as the gas hub that would get all the attention in the cash market as there were scenarios where the gas volume would not be enough to go around.  When this occurred, SoCal Gas has tiered penalities on days when there were low OFO's (Operational Flow Order) on the system.   Figure 1 | Socal Citygate Cash Prices  This led to several days, early in the week, where SoCal Citygate would trade well over any other hub in the ... » read more
Thursday Oct 17, 2019   
Over the past few weeks, the Pacific Northwest gas system has been restricted in a way that the Jackson Prairie storage facility has not been able to pull gas out of the ground.  In essence, it has not been able to help balance the system at a time Mother Nature has brought in colder weather to the region.  Yesterday, Northwest Pipe sent out a notice stating the work is now completed and normal operations at Jackson Prairie will be in play starting on the 18th.  Figure 1 | Northwest Pipeline Critical Notice - Jackson Prairie This will be another lever that will be accessible once the big wind generation uptick shifts back down and natural gas-fired power plants are needed to help balance the system.  In fact, if you look at the Roosevelt Compressor flows in the figure ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 16, 2019   
The weather forecasts have been adding HDDs to the 11-15 day forecast and that alone has prompted the November contract to move up roughly $0.15 since the open on Monday. This is a pretty big move all things considered.   Figure 1 | HDD Accumulation broken down by Day Buckets ** WSI Data The increase we are talking about can be seen in the following graph as the blue line represents the most recent model run and compares it to last year on same day and what normal HDDs look like given the temperatures in the major city airports. Figure 2 | HDD Accumulation for Days 1 -15 The moment you slice throgh last year's numbers  it is cold as the winter timeframe started out rather cold in 2018.  We will continue to monitor the direction of the HDD totals by region as the ... » read more
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