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Thursday Sep 10, 2020   
With all that is going on in the world these days, it is hard to believe that another element could be added to the mix as wildfires ravage vast areas of wilderness and demolish towns/communities in each path's way.  For example, in Portland and Washington State, four towns have been totally demolished by fire where several other local residents have been asked to evacuate or be ready to leave on a moments notice.  This type of fear and sadness is additive to what society has been dealing with on the Covid19 front and recent heat events that have left some without power for a short period of time.  The chaos is intense every step of the way as both doctors and nurses have been running full steam ahead for months and now have been joined by the firefighters on the front line ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 9, 2020   
Portland saw a rare occurrence late Monday afternoon/evening as in a matter of an hour, the city went from a nice sunny afternoon day to that of a wind storm that brought with it smoke filled air from the raging fires to the East and South of the city.  In fact, if you were taking a quick cat nap, you would have awoken to a scene in a movie were the skies were dark, cloudy and hazy while the trees were gusting winds up to 80 mph.  Needless to say, the old growth trees at the end of their life cycle did not stand a chance. Figure 1 | Damage from the Storm - Portland Since the power lines in/around Portland are not buried, the impact to the power grid created technical difficulties for many as power was lost Monday evening and through the night to where many residents like myself ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 8, 2020   
The impacts of Hurricanes Laura and Marco continue to be felt on the US Gulf Coast. LNG demand was expected to move up from 3 to over 5.5 BCF as we turned the calendar page but both Cameron and Sabine Pass terminals are yet to recover from the flooding and winds. With over 2 BCF of liquefaction demand off line combined with cooler temperatures the Henry Hub cash prices have plummeted to their lowest discount versus futures this summer. Over the long weekend the cash price dipped to $2.02 which was a 58 cents under the October futures. At that price carry every storage facility in the Gulf should be on maximum injection to monetize the carry. But the good times for storage operators may not last long.    Figure 1 | NYMEX Continuous and HenHub Cash  If the two ... » read more
Friday Sep 4, 2020   
No matter where you live and what you have planned, the weekend will hopefully be relaxing as it is officially a three-day holiday!!!  In years past,  Labor Day weekend indicated the end of summer and the start of fall where student went back to school and fall sports were in full swing at the high school and college level while the National Football League (NFL)was finishing up their preseason games and filling out their roster for the regular season.  This year is a bit different as the days intermix due to the Coronavirus adjustments made for the work environment as well as school for the kids.  With everything virtual, the classroom is brought to each student while us adults have learned how to better manage one's calendar schedule and almost every ... » read more
Thursday Sep 3, 2020   
Growing up as kid in rural Wisconsin, the activities that kept us occupied throughout the day were endless as there was always a creek to go dam up and create some sort of little hideaway to raking leaves in a big pile and jumping into them from the very tree that they fell from.  As you got older, the activities turned into playing car tag or for some it meant driving the rural roads knocking down mailboxes or litterally tipping cows.   Figure 1 | Cow Tipping If you were a part of the couragious group, you would head out of town and park the car so you could get out and make a b-line to the tramploline that was sitting on someones property and start jumping.  That quickly ended when the owners of the property made it known you were not welcome and needed to run as ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 2, 2020   
The ERCOT market saw a little excitement Monday afternoon as prices jumped over $1,600 during one afternoon hour only to be topped the next with 5-minute prints over $2,000.  This type of action has been few and far between this summer as the solar profile has doubled the capacity on the grid to which most hits right when the grid needs the energy.  The issue that still persists is the shape of the wind generation within the Lone Star state as the middle of the day takes a sharp turn down only to return by the end of the evening ramp.  Figure 1 | ERCOT Wind Hourly Profile by Month The graph above is an illustration of the hourly wind generation by month within ERCOT.  There is a definitely a V shape that goes on within each month with the months of July and August ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 1, 2020   
Driving around yesterday in the suburbs of Cincinnati, the number of "Help Wanted" signs in storefronts across town caught my eye as they were universal across a number of different business including the hardware store, restaurants, sporting goods and even the golf course. I could not help but wonder about the economy recovering from the COVID shock we experienced this past spring. Back in April and May businesses closed as government mandates forced a quarantine. But now just a few months later the anecdotal evidence suggests the economy is back on track and reverting to the tight labor conditions we experienced prior to the epidemic. These things should show up in the natural gas demand tied to the power burns industrial and commercial components of the supply/demand balance. » read more
Monday Aug 31, 2020   
The days/weeks all get co-mingled now that we are in the sixth month of the coronavirus pandemic.  If you are a child, it has been a little confusing over the summer months as the vacation plans were altered and hanging out with friends seems like a rare occurance as social distancing amongst families is still in play.  If you live in Portland, the virus situation as taken a back seat to the ongoing protests in the streets of downtown.  The landscape is a bit bizarre as you can go downtown during the daylight hours and see individuals shopping and walking around like one envisions the downtown area around Pioneer Square.  As the sun is setting, the city centre area is being transformed into the night act of protestors taking over the streets.  The other night I ... » read more
Friday Aug 28, 2020   
The month of August is coming to an end and that usually means fall is in the air, football season has begun and schools are in session.  The only one that seems to be playing out across the country is the fall is in the air component as the weather forecast has several regions cooling off this weekend and holding lower cdd's early next week and once we get to the 11-15 day period the model runs have the Lower 48 below the normal line and well below that of last year. Figure 1 | WSI CDD Daily Forecast - Lower 48 This is typically football weather as the weekend mornings are spent gathering in parking lots or backyards ready to tailgate before entering the stadiums or turning on the television to hear the crowds in the background singing their school song the players run out of the ... » read more
Thursday Aug 27, 2020   
Ill Advised Written by Tim Belden, Energy GPS LLC, August 26, 2020   Portland is a volatile place right now. If you read the news you see scenes of protests and riots. This week, our local utility is in the news – Portland General Electric (PGE) announced that they experienced trading losses and the stock price has lost more than 10% in a few days. In an 8k filing, PGE stated: “… energy trading activity in certain wholesale electricity markets (that) resulted in realized and unrealized losses of $127 million as of August, 24th” “total third quarter losses in the portfolio are estimated to be up to $155 million subject to market conditions – although the ultimate amount of the losses could exceed that amount.” “Certain PGE personnel ... » read more
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