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Wednesday Nov 9, 2022   
In the first week of November, following Nymex has been like riding a roller coaster. Usually moves are made in pennies, but the last week has been trading in quarters and 50 cent pieces. In October, Nymex wasn’t quite as volatile, but it certainly had its ups and downs. In our recent monthly report ‘Falling Only to Rise Again’, we explored the rises and falls of Nymex last month as well as power burns and other trends in natural gas and power markets across the country. Read on for a sneak peak into October’s monthly report and email if you’d like to receive the full November report straight to your inbox. The prompt month for Henry Hub fell for much of October, continuing the late summer trend as production was putting molecules onto the ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 8, 2022   
The natural gas market is absorbing the simple fact that Mother Nature is showing a cold weather pattern that will sweep across North America over the next 15-days and potentially through the end of the month.  This type of pattern has re-vitalized the front of the Nymex future market as the December 2022 contract was up over a $1.00 since Friday morning in yesterday's session.  That meant that December carried a $7.00 handle at one point in the session only to settle in at $6.94 as of Monday's close.  Prior to the polar vortex type weather making its way into the Lower 48, it is starting up in Western Canada as this week is showing well-below normal temperatures across British Columbia and Alberta.  For example, temperatures in Alberta have fallen to 28 degrees F ... » read more
Monday Nov 7, 2022   
If you recall, this past Labor Day weekend put on display some heat that pushed the CAISO power demand profile to the brink of disaster.  If it were not for the simple fact that the CAISO pushed real-time alerts to consumers for conservation, who knows how things would have turned out.  These are the times we are currently dealing with as Mother Nature continues to deliver extreme weather events that test both the power and natural gas grids across the country.  This week the script is tied to winter-like weather, not the scorching heat. Figure 1 | 15-Day Pacific Northwest Degrees from Normal Forecast Matrix The Pacific Northwest is looking at their overnight lows dipping down into the low 20’s and the further north you travel the individuals living there are looking ... » read more
Friday Nov 4, 2022   
Without ever spending much time in the spotlight, SPP is managing to rack up intervals where the amount of wind generation exceeds the total demand, which has been highlighted in the EnergyGPS daily content delivered to clients along with the Newsletter Platinum Plus Renewable Monthly Report, titled 'September/October - Gone With the Wind Part 2'.  As we roll into the month of November, the situation continues to worsen if you are a wind generator sitting on the front line as the North zone sends a negative price signal in the early morning hours as the only option is to curtail the renewabe resource.  Down in the South region, we see more local issues as the generation cannot get to the demand centers thus other resources, such as natural gas units, are needed to balance the ... » read more
Thursday Nov 3, 2022   
One week ago we wrote about the transition about to occur in the PNW hydro system.  With the month of October giving way to November, the annual Chum operation was coming back around, which marks a switch from operations to refill the reservoir at Grand Coulee Dam to extra releases from the dam in order to increase the flows and elevation further downriver.  Over the past week, things have played out as we described with Grand Coulee outflows doubling from 52 kcfs on the 30th to over 100 kcfs this Tuesday.  River flows also received some help from the weather as the Pacific Northwest also saw some decent precipitation move into the region, as every Portlander who had the pleasure of drying off sopping wet children and their costumes after making the Halloween ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 2, 2022   
Grid operators felt tricked in Alberta this Halloween as the wind fell below the forecast. The grid was already expecting some tightness for the morning ramp with wind generation expected to fall from 1.5 GW early in the morning to 0.4 GW by noon. Instead, wind played its trick by dropping to a meager 0.2 GW by hour ending 10 and under 0.1 GW by hour ending 12. Net load, shown in the third panel down in Figure 1, was supposed to peak under 9.7 GW, but instead pushed up to 10 GW with wind slowing ramping up over the next few hours. Figure 1 | Load, Wind, Net Load, Thermal Outages, and Prices Power prices signaled the scarcity by shooting into the triple-digits. As the wind fell in the morning, price moved past the forecasted pool price by more than $50 starting in hour ending 6. » read more
Tuesday Nov 1, 2022   
When the Freeport rupture occurred back in June it threw the entire natural gas market into a tailspin. in its wake the facility would be shut down for an extended duration as safety concerns itemized by the PHMSA were addressed. As a result 2 BCF per day of rejected feed gas was backed into the Gulf balancing helping the storage balances to recover from a very large year on year deficit. The last time Freeport LNG LLC provided an update to its return was back on August 23 when they predicted a start up date in early to mid November with full operations by the end of the month. Well, November is upon us and there have been no further updates from Freeport which leads us to believe that the restart continues to be on track per the original time line. But we caveat the sentiment that the ... » read more
Monday Oct 31, 2022   
Everyone has been in a predicament where some at-home project has gone sideways to which you rush to the local hardware store to see if they have the solution. In a bigger project, it usually boils down to not having the right tool for the job, to which makes running to the hardware store look easy. After a few hours of using the wrong tools, the time is now to google search the nearest tool rental shop to see if they have it at the neighborhood store or is it at the one a few miles further down the road. When the person on the other end of the phone call states “yes, we have the equipment at this store.  Would you like me to hold it for you?”  The question had only one answer, “yes please, I will be right over”.  Figure 1 | The Right Tool for the ... » read more
Friday Oct 28, 2022   
This fall I’ve hit the road again to some favorite upland bird hunting spots in Eastern Montana and Eastern Oregon in search of Grouse, Partridge, and Pheasant. While on the road I noticed a change in the technology and supply chain of wind turbines.  In Shelby Montana, we saw enormous wind turbines being shipped via railway.  These turbines were not only very large, but they had spikes on roughly the lower third of the wind blade.  After some speculation we turned to Google and found that these are primarily for noise reduction.  Siemens calls their technology “DinoTails”[1] and started using them in 2000 (guess I’ve never noticed).  These are used to help meet noise regulations at sites and thus produce more energy instead of operating at ... » read more
Thursday Oct 27, 2022   
Mid-C has continued to hold its own in the West this week, even with plentiful wind showing up in the Pacific Northwest as well as the DC line outage reducing export capacity.  This strength continues to be on the heels of colder weather that is displayed via the power demand profiles across the region. With PNW pricing hanging in there for the time being, the end of October is bringing a significant change to hydro operations that will pose a further challenge and threaten to flip the script to the structural power demand growth in the region?  The change starts with the chum operations here at the end of the month and continues into the month of November.  We are staring at a forecast that includes a precipitation pattern that has been avoiding the region up until this ... » read more
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