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Wednesday Oct 24, 2018   
The West has been very active the past couple of weeks with the pipeline rupture in British Columbia.  For example, the Sumas market started out the month as one of the lowest gas hubs in the the cash market to now being the highest as flows from the Spectra BC Westcoast Pipeline to Norhtwest Pipeline (NWP) dwindled down to 0 BCF after the rupture. As it currently stands, flows are down from 1.2 BCF capacity at the Huntingdon /Sumas compressor (where the two pipes exchange the gas) to flowing anywhere between .350 and .500 BCF/d. Prior to all this excitement, the talk of the market was tied to the nomogram constraint at Tracy-Los Banos that was showing up across the midday heavy load hours and pushing NP15 up over SP15 anywhere between $4.00 and $12.50 depending on the ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 23, 2018   
This week the Plains, Midwest and Northeast are seeing an early shot of winter. Temperatures are 8 degrees below normal which is causing a premature jump in space heating. This is occurring at a time when almost all of the storage caverns are scrambling to secure gas for injections. There is genuine concern at many LDC entities across the region that there is not enough gas in the ground for reliable winter supply. Due to the need for draws this week, the cash values have jumped above the winter strip at many hubs.  Figure 1 | Dominion South Cash and Winter Futures for September and October For example, the price action at Dominion South is surprising. This is the pricing hub for Utica and Marcellus production volume and despite the gains in volume, the dynamics are ... » read more
Monday Oct 22, 2018   
It is that time of year again, when the signs for all the local individuals running for office are in the yards around town, commercials land on the television where they bash their opponent, emails hit one's inbox letting you know how to vote and last but not least people knocking on your door to make sure you are aware of some of the key measures that are on this year's voting ballet, which have to be in by  November 6th, 2018.  For example, yesterday afternoon around 1:30 pm, two individuals wearing bright yellow shirts that said VOTE on the front rang my doorbell.  Upon opening the door, they first introduced themselves and then jumped right into asking if I knew much about Measure 26-199 and 102.  The former goes hand in hand with the latter as the Measure 102 is ... » read more
Friday Oct 19, 2018   
Up in Canada, the province of Alberta has been making a name for itself since I can remember.  When I started in this industry, the Alberta natural gas market was positioned wel,l as it could deliver molecules to either the Northeast or Pacific Northwest/California.  On a cold winter day when both regions were vying for natural gas, prices would rip higher.  The build out of the REX pipeline and and the Shale phenomenon in the Marcellus/Utica basin neutralized the position of gas owners in Alberta and as recent as last summer/fall the new regime was in play as AECO cash market traded negative as maintenance work on the intra-provincial grid not only restricted pipeline capacity to the Lower 48, it also clogged the injection capacity into storage.  ... » read more
Thursday Oct 18, 2018   
The weather patterns over the past few weeks have had an impact on the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley to where the grids have gone from warm/humid temperatures to a forecast that is calling for below normal temperatures the balance of the month. Such swings can be attributed to the Hurricane/Tropical Storm season where both Florence and Michael moved through the Carolinas and up into the Northeast as well as stretching into the Ohio Valley, where each brought flooding and high winds.  On the back end, the artic air mass sitting in Canada has been pushing down as of late and will continue to be present as the Houston Astros trek back to Boston for Game 6 and a possible Game 7. Figure 1 | Accuweather Northeast Weather Forecast With outage season coinciding with the ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 17, 2018   
All the attention this past week has been tied to the Enbridge pipeline explosion that occurred just over a week ago.  We have seen Midc trade triple digits during the cash section Wednesday and ultimately index at $108.  This was a was a massive move up considering the prior day the same heavy load product settled in the upper $30's, which was quite bullish by itself as it traded basically flat to SP15.  It was no surprise that Midc had to run up to the triple digits trades as many of the natural gas power plants on Northwest Pipeline were not able to get the gas needed to produce electricity on the grid.   The bottom line is the Pacific Northwest entities were scrambling to get the power to stay at home, which meant you had to price aggressively until the price ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 16, 2018   
It was not long ago when the Sumas delivery point was one of the most volatile points on the continent. It was a landlocked delivery area that secured most of its supply from the Rocky Mountain region via Northwest Pipeline. During the winter months when space heating climbed along the I-5 corridor, British Columbia used the receipts from Northwest Pipeline to meet is own heating demand. That created an island effect at Sumas which forced it to scarcity premiums in the cash and term markets. With the recent rupture of WestCoast Pipeline (which was discussed in our latest EnergyGPS Newsletter Article called 'SOS - Sumas Over SoCal Citygate') which runs from the BC foothills to the US Border, we are seeing Sumas Island once again. The I-5 corridor is having to meet its supply needs by ... » read more
Monday Oct 15, 2018   
In the National Football League (NFL), the game is still known by the team logo/nickname such as the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and New England Patriots.  In fact, when you head to the games all you hear on your way into the stadium are chants like Go Pack Go or J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets.  There are a few mortal icons that when their name is stated you stop and go yes, he changed the game.  For example, if I said the word Montana, the mind immediately goes to the championship years in the 80's when the 49ers were the best team in football.  If you are an avid football fan, you might even dip back into the college ranks when Montana led his Fighting Irish to a comeback win in the Cotton Bowl again Houston.   Turning to the Packers, one ... » read more
Friday Oct 12, 2018   
I’m a student of electricity markets – I have been for 25 years. The changes we’ve seen in the last five years have been tremendous. The era of coal is being gradually ushered out by low-cost renewables. The vertically integrated utility used to control everything – both the load and the supply. FERC policies opened up the transmission system to independent generators. State policies, in some areas, opened up the retail sector to competition. In today’s market we see a broad array of generation owners – renewable fleet ownership is much more distributed than the traditional thermal generation fleet was 10 years ago. There are many more buyers in the market now as well. Many markets have direct retail access. In addition to the direct access demand ... » read more
Thursday Oct 11, 2018   
The Algonquin Pipeline recently reduced capacity throughout maintenance season. While the majority of outages kept capacity above 1 Bcf/d, there was a short segment of work that needed a much greater reduction taking the Stony Point Compressor Station to just 736 mmcf/d. The major outage had been continually pushed back with work initially being scheduled for the spring. After being moved to fall due to cooler weather in the first quarter of the year, the outage was scheduled for September 25th to October 12th. However, further complications in New England drove operators to increase capacity along the pipeline much earlier than expected. The pipeline issued a notice on October 4th that capacity would be restored the following day. Looking at Figure 1, we can see that capacity began to ... » read more
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