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Friday Jan 8, 2016   
After having the wettest December on record in the Pacific Northwest, the New Year has provided us nothing but dry, cold conditions.  As a result, the overall MAF for the Jan-Jul time period has shifted down from 101 at The Dalles to the most recent report showing 89.8 MAF for the same time period. Figure 1 | NWRFC ESP MAF Table and Chart The reason for the big shift down over the past couple of weeks is due to the December precipitation coming in the form of rainfall, which increased the Westside run of river flows but had little impact on the overall lower ... » read more
Thursday Jan 7, 2016   
Last month we published a newsletter reviewing JP Morgan’s paper titled “A Brave New World – Deep De-Carbonization of Electricity Grids.” The production of the paper was overseen by Vaclav Smil, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba. Over the holiday break I spent some time reading more work by Professor Smil. Of particular interest to me is his book Natural Gas – Fuel for the 21st Century. The book is a comprehensive review of all facets of natural gas extraction, distribution, and ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 6, 2016   
With the colder weather moving through the Pacific Northwest, the overall wind generation has all but gone away with the heavy load average shifting down below 50 MW across the entire region.  Within BPA's balancing authority, the heavy load actually averaged less than 10 MW on the 4th. Figure 1 | BPA Wind Generation - Hourly Down in California, the wind output has had a different story, as the total output jumped up for the 5th in the DA market. Figure 2 | California Wind Generation - Hourly If you look at Figure 2, you can see that the SP15 evening ramp ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 5, 2016   
Over the past two weeks, California has seen its snow water equivalent (SWE) jump up to around 100% of normal for this time of year.  It seems like light years since we have seen this as the past three years have been well below normal with the last two in the severe drought-like category. Figure 1 | California SWE Percentage We have always said, California is a three storm state, meaning that all it takes is three big storms to make the water year.  So far this year, we saw the first set come through around Christmas as Northern California and ... » read more
Monday Jan 4, 2016   
Mother Natures waited until the New Year to bring snow to the Portland/Seattle metro area as yesterday saw up to 3 inches fall.  This led to the local neighborhood families to gather with their sleds in hand at the key 'snow hill' spots across the city.  The day was spent outside enjoying the winter-wonderland and the kids got excited when the notices that winter break would be extended for yet another day as school is cancelled for today.   Leading up to the ultimate snow day, the weather turned colder as wind out of the East started to show up ... » read more
Thursday Dec 31, 2015   
The last week of 2015 has been rather cold across the entire Western region as Denver is staring at lows in the single digits most of the week while the Desert Southwest shifted down into the low 30's in some places.  Southern California is coming out of its coldest days of the year with Burbank down in the mid 30's as well.   Figure 1 | Denver Temperatures - Daily Actuals vs. Forecast Such a cold weather event has kept the overall wind generation from providing any type of added MW to the grid as the Pacific Northwest has seen the daily averages come in ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 30, 2015   
Around the middle of December, both the Desert Southwest and Southern California experienced below normal temperatures to a point that SoCal Gas Sendouts topped the 4 BCF mark.  After doing some analysis, such a number made sense because when the daily average temperature drops in the 42-46 degree range in Southern California the average Sendouts sit around the 4.05 BCF mark historically. Figure 1 | SoCal Ambient Average Temperatures and Sendouts As you can see in Figure 1, it was not until the end of the year, last December that the overall Sendouts spiked up ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 29, 2015   
Over the weekend, the overall Natural Gas Production numbers shifted down from 71.5 BCF on the 23rd to just over 66 BCF as of this morning's report.  This is over a 5.5 BCF swing in the last 6 days. Figure 1 | EGPS Production - Daily Looking at the new EIA regional breakout, you can see the shift down started in the East where the Lower/Upper Marcellus was getting a strong price signal last week to shut in production.  This was due to abnormally warm weather conditions across Pennsylvania and New York and other parts of the East Coast. Figure 2 | ... » read more
Monday Dec 28, 2015   
With some colder weather moving into the the Portland metro area yesterday afternoon and the jet stream dropping some precipitation in the area, the combination created our version of a white Christmas a couple of days late as Portland saw its first snowflakes of the year.  As you peer out into the mountain range East of Portland, you quickly realize that the lower elevation's snowpack has increased over the past week or so as there is a nice white blanket of snowpack sitting on the hillside.  The further up you go, the more snow there is and it is making ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 23, 2015   
Over the past few weeks, the weather pattern has reminded me of the movie Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy switch roles per a $1.00 bet by wealthy brokers who work on the floor of the exchange.  In the movie, Dan and Eddie's characters trade places to see how they do in their new environment.  The natural gas landscape is taking on a similar theme in recent weeks as the Northeast part of the continental United States has been well above normal while California and the Desert Southwest has seen below normal temperatures starting last week. » read more
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