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Tuesday Apr 26, 2016   
Trying to estimate natural gas production in Texas is a tricky proposition. Since most of the production is metered on intrastate versus interstate pipelines they are not under FERC jurisdiction to post meter data to a bulletin board. Forecasting services are left with the few long haul pipes that run through the state to gather their sample size. When reconciling the data, most forecasters will go back to the Texas Railroad Commission or EIA data to true up the actual volumes. To complicate matters, a significant amount of Texas natural gas comes from crude ... » read more
Monday Apr 25, 2016   
With the Pacific Northwest have a glut of supply hit their system (wind and hydro), there is plenty of MWs flowing down on the Paci and Nob lines during the middle of the day.  Add to it, the fact that the in-state California wind is howling and producing a massive amount of generation in both NP15 and SP15. Figure 1 | CAISO Wind Generation Forecast It should also be noted that the overall load week on week has shifted down considerably across both regions with California's peak demand shifting down from 31,500 W to 28,600 MW for today. Figure 2 | CAISO Peak ... » read more
Friday Apr 22, 2016   
As I watched the Houston Rockets/Golden State Warrior basketball game last night, I could not help but think what the fans and the city have been going through the past few days.  The massive rainfall flooded the city to a point it was shut down for a couple of days and lingering precipitation is no helping the cause as street are still flooded.  Seeing all the fans in their red t-shirts did tell me that the city is working its way back to some normalcy, which can be translated into the energy markets. Here we saw the heavy rains impact the in-state natural ... » read more
Thursday Apr 21, 2016   
As the week finishes up, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the key elements impacting the market.  Starting on Monday, April 18th (4-08, 408) it was officially tax day for everyone.  In Texas, Mother Nature was not too kind to the accountants that left filing to the bitter end as a massive storm moved through the state where some hours saw up to 4 inches of rain.  Needless to say, such an amount was enough to break a single hour record and rank right up there with the most rainfall within a given day across Houston. Figure ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 20, 2016   
Heavy rain fall in the South Central region this week caused massive flooding, primarily in the Houston area.  At one point the rain fall equated to four inches an hour, clogging run off drains and pushing creeks and rivers over their banks.  While the Lone Star State declared a state of emergency to deal with the rising waters the NG market aggressively traded up as the May contract rose 15 cents to settle around $2.09. The fundamentals behind the market strength were valid as production numbers declined and power burns rose.  While the ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 19, 2016   
Now that we are a couple of weeks into the storage refill season it is an appropriate time to do some quick balance sheet analysis of the present natural gas supply/demand picture. At this point, natural gas is clearly tighter when compared to April of 2015. Figure 1 details some of the year on year component changes to the natural gas landscape. The most notable items are ResCom demand, Power Burns, Exports to Mexico, LNG Canadian Imports and Production.  Figure 1 | North American Supply/Demand Balances Here we will discuss some of the factors that have ... » read more
Monday Apr 18, 2016   
With the hydro system flowing over 319 kcfs at McNary and 94 kcfs at Lower Granite, the generation out of the turbines is at/near their max capacity.  This has led to several of the dams to over-generation spill as the water has nowhere else to go.  Despite the higher hydro generation in the region, Midc's heavy load price was strong for today as it averaged $14.09.  Using weekend Malin gas that put the implied heat rate at an 8.79. Figure 1 | Midc Heavy Load Price This type of implied heat rate would entice gas fired power plants to nom up as it is ... » read more
Friday Apr 15, 2016   
The Mid Columbia is a liquid trading hub with a long daily price history. But the daily peak and off-peak Mid Columbia prices provide few insights into the hourly shape or the basis between various Northwest delivery points. Then came the Pacificorp EIM – the game changer. We now have more than a year of – not just hourly data – but rather 15 minute real time price data. While there are certainly some challenges associated with the EIM data, it provides a bright light that can inform decisions the way the standard peak and off-peak Mid Columbia price ... » read more
Thursday Apr 14, 2016   
In the energy industry there is terminology that makes a lot of sense, like on-peak and off-peak when you are talking about a load profile as the highest demand usually come during the daylight hours between HE 7 and HE 22 and the lower demand hours are when businesses are closed and people are getting ready for bed and/or sleeping.  When it comes to price, I am still not sure how the West has created its own unique set of on-peak days (Monday - Saturday) between HE 7 and 22 whereas the off-peak days are HE 1-6, 23-24 Monday - Saturday and all day Sunday. If you ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 13, 2016   
Baseload supply in the Northeast continued its decline this weekend as NY lost another Nuclear facility.  To recap, both NYISO and ISONE were without a major nuclear facility due to a scheduled refueling at Millstone 3 and a maintenance extension at Indian Point 2.   On Sunday Nine Mile 2 joined the outage ranks as the unit came down for refueling.  The loss of the unit drove up the thermal demand by 1200 MWs in NYISO.   Figure 1| NYISO Fundamentals Dashboard - Day Ahead On-peak Average The loss of Nine Mile nuclear ... » read more
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