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Tuesday Nov 8, 2016   
Recently, we have seen a material move down in the spot price of natural gas versus the front month futures values.  Since the middle of October, Henry Hub cash prices have dropped 95 cents to $2.20 while the December contract has stayed relatively strong at $2.82. Lack of seasonal demand because of the ongoing warmth in the Midcontinent and a full storage complex have driven down the cash price to levels where new sources of demand can be found. The last time we saw the Gulf spot prices this low was back in the spring when the last coal to natural gas switching ... » read more
Monday Nov 7, 2016   
All eyes will be glued to the television on Tuesday evening as the votes start coming in across the country to see who the next president of the United States will be.  There is also interest at the state level as several measures and initiatives will get voted on by the people.  In the State of Washington, one initiative tied to the energy sector is 732 (I732), which is a carbon tax on emission within the state.  This includes both the coal and natural gas fired generation that sit within the border lines of the state. Figure 1 | Washington State - ... » read more
Friday Nov 4, 2016   
In this newsletter we examine whether increased coordination between the CAISO and the major Pacific Northwest hydro producer could bring benefits to both regions. Currently, there is little coordination. The majority of the hydro production in the Pacific Northwest is controlled by various publicly owned utilities (POU’s). Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is certainly the largest and most important. The three counties who own and operate the dams of the Mid Columbia plus the likes of Seattle City Light, Tacoma, and Eugene Water and Electric Board control ... » read more
Thursday Nov 3, 2016   
The month of October has come and gone, but its memories continue to be everlasting as the hydro system is pushing out megawatts like it has an unlimited supply of Halloween candy.  This is because the average rainfall in Portland for October is 3 inches.  By Monday night, we surpassed the 1994 record of 8.41 inches at the Portland airport as the month ended up just shy of 9.0 inches.  The 9.0 inches of rain is comparable to getting another November or December month thrown into the mix.  In fact, 28 out of the 31 days has a measurable amount of ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 2, 2016   
Since April of this year a series of maintenance outages on the Algonquin System has limited flows through Stony Point.  The derates limited flows from the Marcellus production area, increasing dependence on imports from Canada to balance the pipeline on strong demand days. The maintenance was apart of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) expansion project.  AIM will increase capacity through the Algonquin system allowing .34 BCF of additional flows from the Marcellus reach customers in Connecticut and Mass.  The maintenance was scheduled to end ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 1, 2016   
In this newsletter we evaluate the wisdom of the California Air Resource Board’s recent proposals to modify the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) rules to stop out-of-state carbon emissions from leaking into California via the EIM. A good newsletter title pulls themes together in a succinct, informative, and sometimes humorous way. We considered a variety of titles for this newsletter, before settling on a suite of titles, each one relevant in its own way. Penny wise and pound foolish. (1) Can’t see the forest for the trees. (2) Measure with a micrometer ... » read more
Monday Oct 31, 2016   
Happy Halloween!!  It is that time of year again when the bowls are filled with candy and the pumpkins are carved with lights flickering inside as you walk up to front of the door with the children to hear the words:  Trick or Treat!!!.  The smile on the persons face delivery the candy is precious awhile the little ones are thankful and ready to move onto the next house as their bag needs to get full so they can go home and eat a bunch of it prior to going to bed as the school looms the next morning. The sporting world has its own version of ... » read more
Friday Oct 28, 2016   
This week a notice from the California Public Utilities Commission to SoCal Gas was posted on the CPUC/AlisoCanyon website detailing the process and hurdles that need to be met before the facility will be approved for operation. The good news about the notice is that there is a clear path that SoCal can follow to resume injections at Aliso Canyon. The bad news is that the reporting requirement is onerous. While most of the data/information request would have already been compiled during the summer-long repair and inspection process, some of the equipment and tracking ... » read more
Thursday Oct 27, 2016   
This week we are seeing the slow transition from summer/fall temperatures into winter space heating in the Northeast part of the United States and Eastern Canada. As heating degree days start to accumulate across this area, residential and commercial natural gas demand will start to dominate the daily supply/ demand balancing.  Looking at some of the pipeline data scrapes this week we noticed several storage caverns starting to withdraw volumes for exactly this purpose. But noting we are still 6 days away from the start of the natural gas withdrawal season, we ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 26, 2016   
The first real cold front has moved into New England driving temperatures down across the region.  As a result we have seen a substantial increase in res/com demand and an appropriate reaction from the gas market with AGT settling well above Henry Hub thus far this week. In figure 1 below, we have charted the total res/com sendouts for the Algonquin pipeline on the Y-axis and the average Boston temperatures on the X-axis. The data includes all days in October – March for 2012- 2016. The orange dots represent the last 15 days and blue is historical data. » read more
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