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Friday May 15, 2020   
Historically, Western Canadian oil and gas production dips in the late spring as a result of annual ‘breakup’, it typically rebounds when roads re-open.  This year, however, a rebound is less certain due to the timing of the collapse of global energy prices. ‘Breakup’ refers to springtime in Western Canada when the region’s ice roads and rivers begin to thaw.  The  roads used to access well-sites turn into a muddy, impassable quagmire while the rapid snowmelt can create widespread flooding as area rivers swell get choked by ice flows.   The spring ‘breakup’ ultimately leads to declines in British Columbia and Alberta oil and gas production by forcing drilling and onsite maintenance programs to radically slow with the ... » read more
Thursday May 14, 2020   
The market is full of jitters and unknowns as the crude market has been hit the hardest which means the associated natural gas tied to the Bakken, Permian and other regions across North America continue to see their production numbers shift lower.  This past week started out with the daily natural gas production numbers shifting down below the 90.0 BCF/d mark we say up until this point in May.  As if this morning, the 'reported' number is now down to 86.5 BCF, which is over 3.5 BCF/d lower.  If you look at the daily movement from last week to this week, the Monday numbers shfited down just over 1.5 BCF/d where as today dropped another 2.0 BCF. Figure 1 | Lower 48 Natural Gas Production - Daily Starting with the first delta earlier in the week, the 1.5 BCF/d delta seemed to ... » read more
Wednesday May 13, 2020   
The Pacific Northwest is delivering plenty of generation on the power side as the wind and hydro generation is adding up to a level that warrants single digit heavy load average settles in the bilateral market.  When this happens, the molecules for power plants need to find a different home which means the compressor flows are needing to adjust or more goes into JP storage.  Over the past few weeks, the T-South compressor flows have maintained a level just over 1.0 BCF/d while the Roosevelt compressor is fluctuating depending on what is happening at the Jackson Prairie or the rescom demand that has moved up a bit this week as temperatures have shifted lower.   Figure 1 | Natural Gas Daily Supply/Demand Balance for Pacific Northwest (WA/OR/BC) – ... » read more
Tuesday May 12, 2020   
At the beginning of this winter there was concern that the Alberta storage complex would not have enough volume to cover the provinces demand needs in the event of a cold winter. The inventory was entering the withdrawal season with only 263 BCF in the ground which was near a modern day low. The previous year saw 140 BCF taken out of the ground to meet the Nova system demand. If we had a repeat of that this year system integrity could have been at risk. But oh the times have changes since then. A mild winter combined with an increase in production helped to keep inventory through March. Since then the fortunes of the storage balancing have turned completely around. Much like the Lower 48, Alberta is on the path to see the system reach high inventory levels by the end of the summer. Since ... » read more
Monday May 11, 2020   
The holiday festivities seem to be taking it on the chin as well during the virus crisis as Easter has come and gone and now Mother's Day brunch was left to the cooktop instead of the family heading out to mom's favorite eating establishment in the neighborhood. If you were in the Midwest and Northeast, it would have been tough to even think it was May 10th as the weather pattern dropped some extremely cold temperatures on both regions all weekend.  Speaking of which, below is a weekend breakdown of some of the things that are perculating in the energy sector. The NYMEX session saw the prompt month up 2 cents to $1.84 but has now retreated ever so slightly. As mentioned above, it has been a cold weekend for the Midwest and Northeast. Temperatures across the regions fell into the 20's ... » read more
Friday May 8, 2020   
What the heck is going on with electricity demand and social distancing? The EIA has a piece on its web site showing MISO demand is down significantly from last year as a result of social distancing. Weekday demand in April was down 10% to 13%. These are huge numbers for electricity demand. EIA posits the shuttering of large industrial demand (think auto manufacturing) is driving demand lower (accidental pun, get it, "auto manufacturing" and "driving").  https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43636#tab2   In April I saw a piece on residential demand that indicated that it was growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, residential demand is so strong that utilities are worried about bill shock for residential consumers. On April 14th, the Uplight Blog asserted that average ... » read more
Thursday May 7, 2020   
Who hasn't had a McDonalds breakfast sandwich at some point in their life as it is on many billboards and commercials over the years, heck it is even on their dollar menu or some sort of promotion where you can get two for $3.00.  There was an article published that discussed the lost art of grabbing a hot breakfast on the way to work as work has now been established at home. In fact, if there is one meal that is easy to make in the kitchen without a lot of effort it is breakfast.  The article goes on to say that establishements like the 'Golden Arches' get 20% of its throughput from breakfast customers with just over 40% of it's total revenue generated from such grab and go meals.  Figure 1 | McDonald's Breakfast Menu These are staggering numbers for an established ... » read more
Wednesday May 6, 2020   
As the Midwest and Eastern parts of the Lower 48 are experiencing colder than normal temperature conditions, the West is showing above normal daytime highs in Southern California and the Desert Southwest.  Up in the Pacific Northwest, there is a combination of both worlds as the overnight temperatures are chilly enough to warrant a little heavier jacket on the morning dog walk only to shed it by the afternoon stroll through the neighborhood.  I tell you all this because it takes us to that time of year when the Pacific Northwest goes through its typical hydro runoff period of the current Water Year.  If you have followed our hydro views over the years, May is set up to start catching all the melting snow at the higher elevations as the system operators have been adhering to ... » read more
Tuesday May 5, 2020   
Yesterday afternoon TETCO pipeline suffered its fifth rupture in the past four years. The incident occurred just south of the Owingsville compressor station in Central Kentucky. The 30 inch line that had been recovering from a previous rupture last August had been derated from 2.1 to 1.6 BCF. As of this morning the south bound flows from the Marcellus to the Gulf had gone to zero. Fortunately nobody was injured in this incident. TETCO is one of the oldest pipelines in North America having been built during World War II to avoid German submarine attacks on Northeast tanker deliveries. Although it goes through rigorous testing as part of the DOT safety standard it has been showing its age as of late.  Figure 1 | Current South Bound TETCO Nominations from Marcellus to Gulf Since ... » read more
Monday May 4, 2020   
The time has come to where the human mind is getting restless as many individuals are protesting at City Hall or the capital to get the economy back on its feet.  All this is going on during a time that researchers from all over the world are working endless hours to try and find a cure for the coronavirus.  We still have doctors and nurses tending to individuals who are getting sick weeks later, food processing plants througout the Midwest are closed as outbreaks have been reported and stats still show new hot spots showing up in cities once thought to be immune.  There are some positives that are showing up on the radar as our local grocery store is not mandating that anyone entering the store must be wearing a mask.  This gives me more comfort shopping for the items ... » read more
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