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Thursday Aug 6, 2020   
With July in the books, the Pacific Northwest participants will look back on the month as one of the strongest hydro generation outputs on record as the delayed run-off of higher elevation snowpack in the north pushed volume downstream in massive amounts early and often.  When you throw in the fact that the power loads are still reeling from the pandemic situation, the light load hours have not had a chance of getting into the natural gas stack which would ultimately help shift the power burn noms on GTN and NWP up to last year's levels. Figure 1 | Pacific Northwest Hydro Generation - Daily Average Year on Year Comparison The month of August at least started out on a better note when it came to the Midc light load bilateral market as the hydro output was down compared to the ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 5, 2020   
Over the past two days, the natural gas markets have seen a change unlike anything we have seen since pre-COVID19 as the front of the curve is up over $0.30.  Such an uptick would make a lot of sense if there was news of a vaccine or if the stats were showing that states had the number of cases under control but neither of those two are present at the time.  What is present is a new month with a weather forecast that is showing some heat in the 6-10 day period and an 11-15 day block of days holding above normal when it comes to the aggregated CDD levels across the Lower 48.  Weather like this is a reminder of last week when it was hot and power burns reached a record high if 47 BCF/d.  Such a demand is needed to keep the gas from being pointed to the storage facilities ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 4, 2020   
Texas Eastern has been under constant repair over the past few years as several ruptures have impacted the pipeline. The latest incident on May 4 was the catalyst for a Corrective Action Order from the Department of Transportation. In an effort to monitor and oversee the reparations they have placed limitations on the compressor ratings in the M2 and M3 corridors limiting flows to both the Gulf and East Coast. These are intended to be temporary until repairs can be completed. On the path to the M3 delivery zone which makes up most of Pennsylvania and into New Jersey throughput on the Uniontown compressor has been cut from 4 to 2.6 BCF. During low load times of the year like spring and fall this is not an issue. But heat events like what we experienced in July forced downstream ... » read more
Monday Aug 3, 2020   
As I drove to a friends house this weekend, I drove through two neighborhood downtowns close to Portland proper. As I entered the first, I decided to count the number of For Lease signs that were present and before I could get two blocks I was up to four.  After swinging around a slight corner, two more were plastered in the window front of what used to be a vibrant foot-traffice area.  After taking a right and heading out to the next neighborhood, the count was up to nine signs.  After a few minutes of driving and thinking about the devastation to the small botique shops around the country, it did not take long to get the count up to thirteen as four more signs stuck out.  It was not until I got to an area just past the downtown that the low point hit as the ... » read more
Friday Jul 31, 2020   
As the market share of grid-connected solar in wholesale power markets continues to grow its worth revisiting the ability to predict solar in time frames relevant to centralized power markets: (1) hourly forecasts made approximately a day in advance, when Day Ahead (DA) markets are conducted and (2) approximately an hour before Real Time (RT), when grid operators line up final resources for RT dispatch   Both forecasts are important in that market operators need to have available resources online to meet variations in net load.  And solar, with its large daily ramp up and ramp down, can have a big effect.    Based on our examination of recent CAISO data, the following is a short update on DA forecast errors and typical impacts on market ... » read more
Thursday Jul 30, 2020   
It seems like only yesterday is a saying that fits when it comes to watching SoCal Citygate price itself over PGAE Citygate in the cash market.  if you recall, you can go all the way back to the leaky valve at the Aliso Canyon storage facility or the pipeline fire that constrained flows hitting the SoCal North Zone, as a time of unrest and volatile spot gas settles.  The volatility stemmed from not having enough molecules to solve the demand issue around rescom, industrial and power burns within the LA Basin. Figure 1 | Socal vs. PGAE Citygate Cash Settles - 2019 The figure above illustrates the SoCal vs. PGAE Citygate spread for all of calendar year 2019 with the blue line representing the former and the orange the latter.  The beginning of the 19-20 Winter Season was ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 29, 2020   
U.S. nuclear outages have taken a rather unusual uptick in recent days.  In years past, such an occurance would provide the seeds for some bullish uplift of gas demand, but not so much anymore.  The amount of generation capacity taken offline for planned and unplanned maintenance has doubled in just the past 8 days, spiking from about 4.1 GW offline last week to about 8 GW today.  This type and magnitude of increase is atypical for this time of year.  Historically, nuclear outages peak in the low power demand periods of spring and fall, so that the greatest amount of capacity is available during peak-demand times of summer.  Figure 1 | Total U.S. nameplate nuclear generation capacity that is offline. Across the U.S., there were five plants that are completely ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 28, 2020   
In April of this year we had on one of the most defining moments in the history of the crude industry. Driven by an abundance of supply and limited storage the futures price crashed down to minus $37 for the May 2020 WTI settle causing a seismic shift in energy operations across the world. Global oil output fell by 7 million barrels per day with one third of that total in the United States. We are just now starting to get the financial impacts of the shock. Oil companies are posting Q2 earnings with detail of the operations changes from Q1. One of the constant themes from the earnings releases is that there may be no getting back to where we were at the beginning of the year. The CEO of Parsley Energy Matt Gallagher stated that oil production in the Permian has peaked ... » read more
Monday Jul 27, 2020   
It is a whacky world we live in as the coronavirus has plagued the world over the past four months and no real end in sight for many states as the number of cases continue to grow.  When it comes to the injustice of inequality Portland has become the hotspot when it comes to the protests downtown around the Federal Buildings.  It was not too long ago that the President sent armed forces to Portland as it was deemed protection was needed at the highest level.  This past week saw the mayor of Portland stand amongst the protesters only to be tear-gassed by the armed forces and mocked by the President in one of his communication platforms to the public. Figure 1 | Portland Protests Outside of downtown, the City of Portland is similar to any other city battling the policies and ... » read more
Friday Jul 24, 2020   
In early 2019, Washington State legislature passed and Governor Inslee signed the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA, or SB 5116). CETA includes three major mandates on Washington State’s Investor- and Publicly-Owned Utilities (IOUs and POUs). First, CETA mandates that all coal-fired resources must be eliminated from the portfolio of generation resources used to serve Washington consumers by December 31, 2025. Second, all electricity sold at retail in Washington must be greenhouse gas (GHG) “neutral” by January 1, 2030.  As part of the this GHG neutrality requirement, 80% of electricity delivered to Washington customers must be from non-emitting or renewable resources.  The remaining 20% may come from unbundled RECs, investments in energy transformation ... » read more
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