Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was a withdrawal of 78Bcf (billion cubic feet) from Underground Storage for the week ending February 23d, 2018. This is 13Bcf above the median forecast of a 65Bcf withdrawal, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The withdrawal one year ago was 7Bcf and the 5-year average withdrawal is 118Bcf. Storage is 680Bcf below last year for the same week and 372Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,682Bcf.



Natural Gas Pricing

As of 9:38AM CST, April 2018, (the new prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.68, + $0.03 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.85, +$0.04 from one week ago. The March Natural Gas contract closed at $2.68.



Crude Oil Pricing

As of 9:36AM CST, April, 2018, (the new prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $60.78, -$1.52 from one week ago.


Crude Oil Inventory

US crude inventories rose by 3 million barrels to 422.8 million barrels for the week ended Feb 23d, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected an increase of 1.2 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs

U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were +2 at 179 for the week of February 23d. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was 28 higher than last year’s level of 151.  US Rigs drilling for oil were +1 at 798. There are 197 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -12 at 306 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain at 82% of all US drilling activity.

Geopolitical

U.S. energy drilling boom could mean $6 billion in federal well cleanups: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cleaning up the tens of thousands oil and gas wells on U.S. federal land after they stop producing could cost over $6 billion, and taxpayers may need to pitch in, according to an analysis of state and federal data commissioned by a conservation watchdog group.

The study released on Monday reflects one of the downsides to a years-long drilling boom that has made the United States a top world oil and gas producer. The analysis by consultancy ECONorthwest on behalf of the Center for Western Priorities, estimates the potential reclamation costs for the 94,096 oil and gas wells now producing on federal lands at $6.1 billion.

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts above-normal temperatures for the Eastern 2/3 of the US. The Western third is projected to be at  below-normal temps.

The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the Northeast and Southwest at above-normal temps with the Northwest and the Central US at below-normal temps. The 11-15 Day Outlook forecasts most of the Northern half of the US at below-normal temps with the Southwest  projected to be at above-normal temps. The 30 and 90-day Outlook shows the Southern states above-normal temps and normal temps the balance of the country at normal temps. While weather is not factoring into Natural Gas pricing, low inventory has been driving heat rates up dramatically.


Sustainability and Renewables

A breakthrough invention creates electricity from daily temperature swings: When it comes to passive electricity-producing technology, a new invention could be the breakthrough we’ve been looking for. When thinking of new renewable energy technologies, a concept such as thermoelectric generation – which generates power when one side of the device is a different temperature from the other – could be hugely beneficial.

This Week's Key Takeaway

Remember in 2003 when the movie, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" cited the death of GM's experiment in California? At the time, no one seemed to notice that over 50% of electricity in CA was generated by coal. So what were they actually driving?

Fast forward to 2018, when less than 1% of electricity is generated from coal in CA and more than 50% is generated by renewable sources. Well, hang on... thanks to what researchers are calling a "breakthrough" in energy storage technology, teams from Bristol and Surrey Universities have created a new material for supercapacitors, which store electric charge that could see EVs recharge in as little as 10 minutes compared to the 8 hours it can take for EVs with lithium-ion batteries. In addition, the range of autos would surpass the top range of today's cars. Game changer?


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