Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was a withdrawal of 87Bcf from Underground Storage for the week ending January 4th, 2019.

This is 2Bcf above the median forecast of an 85Bcf withdrawal, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The withdrawal compares with -359Bcf last year and -182Bcf for the five-year average. Storage is 204Bcf below last year for the same week and 464Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 2,614Bcf. Read More ...

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 9:58AM CST, February 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.99, +$0.02 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.86, +$0.09 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 8:58:AM CST, February, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $51.50, +$2.83 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories decreased by 1.7 million barrels to 439.7 million barrels for the week ended January 4th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decrease of 2.4 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were unchanged at 198 for the week of January 5th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was +16 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were -8 at 877. There are 135 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -6 at 76 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain 82% of all US drilling activity.

Geopolitical


Policies Or Technology? The Key To A Sustainable Energy Future: The chicken or the egg? The cart or the horse? Should policy or technology take the lead?  It is not a reasonable question when it comes to deciding where the keys to a sustainable energy future lay – we need both.
Meeting that energy challenge is fundamental to maintaining our current way of life and fulfilling the growing energy needs of the rest of the world. About 1.3 billion people globally live in energy poverty – that is, they lack access to sufficient energy for basic needs and are forced to rely on the most primitive forms of energy such as wood burning and waste, as well as expending an excessive amount of time collecting these fuels. Another 2 billion or more people will be added to the world’s population in the next 50 years, many of them in the developing world, compounding the difficulty of providing sufficient energy to meet their needs.

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts below-normal temps for the Northeast, above-normal temps for the West and center of the country and normal temps for the balance of the US. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts much of the Central US and West -including California- at above-normal temps with the balance of the country at normal temps. 

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts either normal or above-normal temps for almost all of the US with the exception of Maine and Utah, which are expected to be below-normal. The 30-day Outlook projects normal temps for almost all of the US except the West (not including California), which is expected to be above-normal and the Southeast, (with the exception of the coast) which is projected to be below-normal.

The 90-Day Outlook projects the most of the country at normal temps with the exception of the Northwest, which is expected to be at above-normal temps and much of the Southeast, expected to be at below-normal temps. The East Coast, including New England, is projected to be at normal temps.

Sustainability and Renewables


“2018 has been a turning point, as some utilities are beginning to make decisions based on the market of the future rather than that of the past,” says Howard Learner, president and executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. The Midwestern states are ground zero for the transition to renewable energy. “In the Midwest in particular, renewable energy is a win-win for utilities and the ratepayers at this point,” says Travis Miller, director of utilities research at Morningstar.Xcel Energy, based in Minnesota, has 3.6 million customers in 9 states. It began the transition by announcing a plan to transition to 100% zero emissions energy by 2050 — the first utility company in the US to make that a corporate goal. Economics has a lot to do with that decision. Wind power in the Midwest is abundant and inexpensive but solar farms are also springing up across America’s heartland.

But there is something other than the bottom line at work here. Ben Fowke, Ecel’s CEO, said at a news conference back in December, “We knew we could step up and do more, at little or no extra cost.”

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts below-normal temps for the Northeast, above-normal temps for the West and center of the country and normal temps for the balance of the US. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts much of the Central US and West -including California- at above-normal temps with the balance of the country at normal temps. 

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts either normal or above-normal temps for almost all of the US with the exception of Maine and Utah, which are expected to be below-normal. The 30-day Outlook projects normal temps for almost all of the US except the West (not including California), which is expected to be above-normal and the Southeast, (with the exception of the coast) which is projected to be below-normal.

The 90-Day Outlook projects the most of the country at normal temps with the exception of the Northwest, which is expected to be at above-normal temps and much of the Southeast, expected to be at below-normal temps. The East Coast, including New England, is projected to be at normal temps.

This Week's Key Take-Away


Politics aside, so far, President Trump's time in office has been good for the oil and natural gas industry in the US. Petroleum producers are selling more of their product abroad while the administration attempts to open up ever more remote corners of the country far north in Alaska and deep in the Atlantic to drilling.

But a slew of trade issues threatens to derail that success. The head of the nation's largest oil and gas trade group warned that trade tensions stoked by Trump between the US and some of its trading partners — in particular, China — could make it more difficult for U.S. producers to sell their products abroad, or even deliver them to market.

A boom in fracking over the past decade has given the United States a glut of natural gas that has not only reduced the nation's dependence on foreign oil but is poised to turn the nation into a net energy exporter.

However, Levies of 25% that the President has placed on foreign-made steel have dinged the oil industry, which relies on imports to cheaply build pipelines.