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Monday Jan 16, 2017   
It has been nearly a week since the Portland metro area saw 14 inches of snow dumped on it.  The city shut down for 48 hours as the plows tried to make their way across all the major highways and streets.  The tow trucks were in high demand as semi-trucks were turned sideways on any incline or overpass while individual drivers left their cars on the side of the roads (or in the roads) to catch a ride home with passing vehicles with all-wheel/4 wheel drive. During this time, the Stumptown Birkebeiner was manifesting itself once again. Figure 1 | Stumptown ... » read more
Friday Jan 13, 2017   
A few years ago a former Enron colleague of mine, John Sherriff, asked me to review a final draft of a book he was writing about risk, decisions, business, and life. I happily read the book and gave John my feedback. John self-published Lucky and Good in August 2013 via Amazon where it can be purchased today (link below). In a burst of New Year’s motivation to get my life organized, I was sifting through some old files last weekend when I came across John’s book. I thumbed through it and came to an Appendix in the back of the book with the headline ... » read more
Thursday Jan 12, 2017   
With more storms moving through California over the past 48 hours, the damage is tied to mudslides, power outages as well as flash floods.  The one area we are focusing on is the damage it has done to the drought-like reservoir levels throughout the state.  The storms have poured roughly 350 billion gallons of water into the reservoirs since the beginning of the New Year.  This is ultimately boosting the elevation levels above anything seen over the past 6 years. Figure 1 | California Hydro Storage Levels - January 2016 vs. January 2017 You can see in ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 11, 2017   
LNG import stations dot the Eastern shoreline of the United States, most of which representing relics of an old energy market.  The thermals were built to import liquefied natural gas into the US market which, at the time, had significantly weaker local production and a power grid which was exposed to fluctuating oil prices.   Figure 1 | Existing LNG import/Export Terminals Map  LNG imports into the US reached theirs highs in the summer of 2007 and winters of  2010 until the fracking revolution across the United States drastically ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 10, 2017   
It seems like so long ago (October) when above normal temperatures were the story line throughout Alberta, especially Calgary where the daytime average was coming in 10-15 degrees above normal. Such an increase in the daytime highs shifted up the overall demand in the province during that time.  Fast forward to the start of December and we have seen many days where the daytime average temperatures have been well-below normal. Take for instance, the first part of the month when Calgary saw a good 10 days with below normal temperatures hovering over the city. » read more
Monday Jan 9, 2017   
Over the New Years holiday break, we drove down to visit my mother-in-law who lives in Pismo Beach, CA.  We flew into San Jose, CA and decided to take our time and drive the scenic Highway 1 (Hwy 1) along the coast.  For those of you who grew up in Southern California, you know it better as 'The 1', but for this newsletter, we will continue to call it Hwy 1.  I have never done it before, so I was excited as the road takes you past a couple of old power plants that have been discussed in great lengths over the years, they are Moss Landing and Morro Bay. » read more
Friday Jan 6, 2017   
There is so much to write about these days. I am a fan of both sports and games. In the “games” category, the World Chess Championship was held in New York City between November 11th and November 30th. After 12 games the defending champion Magnus Carlsen was tied with the challenger, Sergey Karjakin, each had a single win with the remaining games ending as draws. Much like college football, ties are broken by playing a modified version of the game. They break the tie with a series of rapid chess games, where Carlsen won two games (after two more draws) to ... » read more
Thursday Jan 5, 2017   
As we begin the New Year we are starting to see normal conditions return to the energy space as people go back to work after some well earned vacation.  However, power burns may have taken too much time off as gas demand slumped significantly heading into the back portion of December.  A dip down in burns due to lack of demand through the holidays was to be expected, however power burns sank well below the previous two years.  In fact, the structurally weak burns have continued into the New Year as January 4th saw only 21.2 BCF of ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 4, 2017   
As we sat down last Friday, the bilateral power market was trading around the New Year long weekend.  With the weather forecast showing colder weather moving into the Pacific Northwest starting on Monday and increasing for Tuesday, load serving entities took no chances of being short and Midc's heavy load ran up to $63.  Some of this had to do with Sumas gas trading at very high levels but the other part was the Pacific Northwest had to make sure most of the MW flowing on the Paci and Nob transmission lines stayed at home.  Since the price mentioned ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 3, 2017   
As we left for the long holiday weekend and to celebrate the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, little did we know Mother Nature would be performing a magic trick on the overall weather across the country.  As we left, the 8 to 14 day forecast (Jan 5th - Jan 11th) from NOAA was showing extreme cold weather across Canada and most of the middle to upper portion of the Lower 48.  As we sit here this morning, all the purple blobs have disappeared and the only regions with a hint of blue are the Pacific Northwest/Plains and the East Coastal states. Figure 1 | ... » read more
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