Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was a withdrawal of 237Bcf from Underground Storage for the week ending February 1st, 2019.

This is 4Bcf below the median forecast of a 241Bcf withdrawal, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The withdrawal compares with a withdrawal of 116Bcf last year and 150Bcf for the five-year average. Storage is 135Bcf below last year for the same week and 415Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,960Bcf. Read more.

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 9:27AM CST, March 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.61, -$0.22 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.79, -$0.14 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 8:02AM CST, March, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $53.49, -$1.68 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ended February 1st, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were +1 at 198 for the week of Febreuary 1st. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was +17 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were -14 at 845. There are 82 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were +11 at 243 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain at 81% of all US drilling activity.

Geopolitical


Choose nuclear, Korsnick tells US energy forum: Solving the USA's energy and climate challenges is more complex than replacing carbon-emitting sources with intermittent renewables, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) president Maria Korsnick told the US Energy Association's 15th State of the Energy Industry Forum earlier this week.

As rising carbon emissions threaten its climate, the USA faces a turning point, where choices about its electricity sources will affect its ability to protect the climate, as well as meet the country's growing energy needs, Korsnick said. Renewable sources are dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing, and in most cases are backed up with gas plants, which emit carbon, she noted.

"Today, we find ourselves at a crossroads, with two paths in front of us. We can take the path that will diversify our energy mix: one that makes room for wind, solar and natural gas - but also for … nuclear. Or we take the other path, one that doesn't invest in nuclear, that leads to higher emissions,"  Read more.

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the Eastern US, including New England. The Western 1/3 of the US is forecast to be at below-normal temps with normal temps for a thin slice of the center of the nation. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the Southeast at above-normal states with the North-Central states and Northwest at above-normal temps with New England through Texas at normal temps.

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts below-normal temps for all of the Northern half of the US, with the Exception of the West Coast, which is expected to be at normal temps. The Southern half of the US are projected to be at normal or above-normal temps. The 30-day Outlook projects below-normal temps for the Northeast and North-Central states,  above-normal temps for the deep Southeast and part of the Southwest and normal temps for the balance of the country.

The 90-Day Outlook projects normal temps for the entire country, with the exception of the far Northwest, which is expected to be at above-normal temps with below-normal temps for several states in the Midwest.

Sustainability and Renewables


Scientists have used a Nobel-prize winning Chemistry technique on a mixture of metals to potentially reduce the cost of fuel cells used in electric cars and reduce harmful emissions from conventional vehicles.

The researchers have translated a biological technique, which won the 2017 Nobel Chemistry Prize, to reveal atomic scale chemistry in metal nanoparticles. These materials are one of the most effective catalysts for energy converting systems such as fuel cells. It is the first time this technique has been for this kind of research.

The particles have a complex star-shaped geometry and this new work shows that the edges and corners can have different chemistries which can now be tuned to reduce the cost of batteries and catalytic convertors.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Joachim Frank, Richard Henderson and Jacques Dubochet for their role in pioneering the technique of 'single particle reconstruction'. This electron microscopy technique has revealed the structures of a huge number of viruses and proteins but is not usually used for metals.

Now, a team at the University of Manchester, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oxford and Macquarie University, have built upon the Nobel Prize winning technique to produce three dimensional elemental maps of metallic nanoparticles consisting of just a few thousand atoms... Read more.

This Week's Key Take-Away


Despite recent low crude prices and a significant drop in the Rig Count during January, the giant Permian Basin of West Texas and Southeast New Mexico continues to expand its role as the main driver of energy growth in North America. In just the past week, we’ve seen the following significant events that are attributable all or in part to what has become the world's second most-productive oil and gas resource:
A driver of upstream and midstream profits - Both ExxonMobil and Chevron beat forecasts with their 4th quarter earnings announcements, driven mostly by their upstream and midstream developments in the Permian.

A driver of downstream expansion and acquisitions - Early last week, Exxon also broke ground on a major expansion of its Beaumont refinery, a project that will add the capability of processing an additional 250,000 bopd and make it the largest refinery in the country.

A driver of record domestic production - In its new Annual Energy Outlook released on January 24, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) now projects in its reference case that domestic crude oil production will rise to more than 15 million bopd by 2022. The main driver of this record production? The Permian Basin.

In the midst of fears that LNG exports will drive up the price of Natural Gas, Texas appears poised to answer the challenge of production in the near future.