Natural Gas in Underground StorageThe weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised today that there was a withdrawal of 166Bcf from Underground Storage for the week ending February 22nd, 2019.
This is 5Bcf below the median forecast of a 171Bcf withdrawal, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The withdrawal compares with a withdrawal of 85Bcf last year and 104Bcf for the five-year average. Storage is 154Bcf below last year for the same week and 424Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,539Bcf. The February Natural Gas Contract closed at $2.85. (Read More)
Natural Gas Pricing
As of 9:51AM CST, April 2018, (the new prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.81, +$0.13 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.95, +$0.10 from one week ago.
Crude Oil Pricing
As of 9:56AM CST, April, 2018, (the new prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $57.10, +$0.06 from one week ago. The EIA has announced that 2018 was a record-breaking year for crude production and that 2019 and 2020 will be even higher.
Crude Oil Inventory
US crude inventories decreased by 8.6 million barrels to 445.9 million barrels for the week ended February 22nd, according to data released this morning by the US Dept of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected an increase of 2.8 million barrels.
U.S. Rotary Rigs
U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were unchanged at 194 for the week of February 22nd. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was +15 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were -4 at 853. There are 54 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -12 at 212 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain at 82% of all US drilling activity.
Renewable energy is not the political wedge it once was: As the 2020 election ramps up, renewable energy simply isn’t the wedge issue it once was — a trend that’s borne out in recent polling data from a post-election survey of midterm voters by the Conservative Energy Network and CRES Forum. The poll, which was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and WPA Intelligence from Nov. 8 to 12, found that a significant majority of U.S. voters (81%) across all party affiliations said they would vote for elected officials who support clean energy development such as wind and solar.
While 81% of survey respondents also said they would support government action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy in the United States, including over half (54%) who said they strongly supported such action, a significant majority (eighty-three percent) favored more competition in energy markets, with the ability to choose the source and type of energy they use.
In other words, clean energy, especially innovation brought... (Read More)
WeatherThe AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts below-normal temps for the Northern half of the US as well as a dip in the center down to the middle of Texas. The South is expected to be at normal or above-normal temps. Normal temps are forecast for a center strip from Wisconsin to Texas. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the entire US at below-normal temps with the exception of the Southwest which is expected to be at normal or above-normal temps.
11-15 Day Outlook forecasts the entire North to be at below-normal temps except for New England. The South will be at normal or above-normal temps. The 30-day Outlook shows below-normal temps for the North-Central states and part of New England. The balance of the country is forecast to be at normal or above-normal temps.
The 90-Day Outlook projects normal temps for the entire country, with the exception of the far Northwest and Florida, which are expected to be at above-normal temps. AccuWeather has predicted that there will be over 1,000 tornados in the US in 2019.
Sustainability and Renewables
Researchers find a way to convert plastic waste into clean fuel: We all are well aware of the fact that growing plastic waste is one of the worst crisis our planet is facing today. It is estimated that every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in our oceans.
However, a new technology developed by researchers at the Purdue University could help transform the world’s plastic waste into a whole new source of useful products and clean fuels.
According to the researchers, this technology can convert more than 90% of polypropylene waste – a type of plastic that is commonly used for packaging and toys – into high-quality gasoline and diesel fuels in a matter of hours.
The conversion process uses selective extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction to turn the plastic into naphtha, a kind of flammable oil that can then be used as a feedstock for other chemicals or further separated into specialty solvents or other products.
The clean fuels derived from the plastic waste generated each year could satisfy 4% of the annual demand for gasoline or diesel fuel ... (Read More)
This Week's Key Take-Away
Electric and Natural Gas prices have risen this week due to a change in the weather forecast. Much colder weather is projected for February than was forecast a month ago. Additionally, Natural Gas production, the historical benchmark for electric prices has failed to set a new all-time high for 88 consecutive days, after seeing new highs almost daily in the prior 6 months.
Nuclear outages have risen above the 5-year average nationally and total Natural Gas production is projected to be 6.7Bcf/day tighter in March than last year. That said, it is forecast to be 8Bcf/day higher than 2018 for April.
Capacity remains the focus for electricity prices nationally, as rather than building new generators, many utilities are investing in Lithium-Ion batteries to lower their costs during "peak demand" events. Historically, utilities met peak demand by building power plants that run on Natural Gas, due to their lower construction costs and the ability to spin-up quickly when needed. Given how rapidly battery costs are dropping, utilities face new long-term planning challenges. Grid-connected utility-scale batteries are a big part of the future of electricity in the US but the correct amount of generation remains a question yet to be answered.