Natural Gas in Underground Storage

FIRST INJECTION OF 2019 BEATS FORECAST
The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised today that there was an injection of 23Bcf into Underground Storage for the week ending March 29th, 2019.

This is 13Bcf above the median forecast of a 10Bcf injection, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. This compares with a withdrawal of 20Bcf last year and a 23Bcf withdrawal for the five-year average. Storage is 228Bcf below last year for the same week and 505Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,130Bcf. (Read More)

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 9:31AM CST, May 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.66, -$0.06 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.84, -$0.03 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 8:58AM CST, May, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $62.41, +$3.53 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories increased by 7.2 million barrels to 449.5 million for the week ended March 29th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Dept of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decline of 0.425 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were -2 at 190 for the week of March 29th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was -4 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were -8 at 816. There are 19 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -17 at 88 for the week.  Canadian drilling falls rapidly in the spring to avoid environmental damage moving drilling equipment during the spring thaw and rainy season. Rigs targeting oil remain at 81% of all US drilling activity.

Geopolitical


US Energy Storage Solution; Giant Coal-Killing Water Batteries: File this one under K for Karma. US coal power plants have spent the past few decades messing with the nation’s water resources, and now water is turning around and messing with coal. The Energy Department is pushing ahead with plans for new hydropower and pumped hydro initiatives that will provide more energy storage and knock coal out of the baseload power generation picture. Ouch!

Let’s focus on pumped hydro first, because that’s where the DOE is looking to upend conventional wisdom. Pumped hydro is an old technology but it still plays an outsized role in energy storage globally and here in the US. The basic idea is to store energy in the form of water held in an uphill reservoir, and leverage gravity to send it downhill to a generating station.

These giant “water batteries” still… (Read More)

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 Day Outlook forecasts most of the US at above-normal temps, while the Northeast and part of the Western states are expected to be at normal temps. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts  much of the Northern half of the country at normal temps with the North-Central states and part of the West at below-normal.The entire South is forecast to be at above-normal temps.

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts above-normal temps for the Northeast and Northwest, with normal temps in much of the Eastern US. Below-normal temps are forecast for most of the Western US and the western part of the Northeast. The 30-Day Outlook shows normal temps for the entire country, with the exception of the far Northwest and New England, which are expected to be above-normal.

The 90-Day Outlook projects normal temps for entire country except for Washington state, which is expected to be above-normal.

Sustainability and Renewables


Florida Power & Light, the utility owned by NextEra Energy, said it plans to build a 409-megawatt energy storage project to be powered by utility-scale solar, among the largest battery systems announced to date in the U.S.

Expected to be up and running by late 2021, the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will be a landmark project for the storage sector, four times the size of the world’s largest battery system currently in operation, FPL said in a statement.

It's the largest battery project unveiled so far in the U.S. on a megawatt basis, and among the largest on a megawatt-hour basis, said Wood Mackenzie senior storage analyst Dan Finn-Foley.

The Manatee Energy Storage Center will have the ability to distribute 900 megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to power 329,000 homes for 2 hours. The facility will be charged by an existing FPL solar plant in Manatee County in southwest Florida and will help the utility accelerate the retirement of two 1970s-era natural-gas-fired plants.

The project underscores FPL's recent embrace of large-scale solar and storage in the Sunshine State — following the aggressive lead of its sister company NextEra Energy Resources, which is active across the continent as North America’s leading renewables developer...(Read More)

This Week's Key Take-Away


The U.S. hasn't embraced electric vehicles with the same enthusiasm as Europe. But sales are picking up. The industry site InsideEVs reports that they hit a new high in 2018, with 361,307 vehicles sold — a sharp rise from 2017's tally of 199,826 vehicles.

But with persistently low gas prices, many Americans see no financial reason to make the switch to an electric vehicle. And U.S. consumers also have concerns about going electric, such as the availability of charging stations and distance constraints.

Norway, on the other hand, is well-positioned to reduce carbon emissions by a transition to electric vehicles. For one thing, it draws nearly all of its electricity from a network of hydroelectric power plants, according to its government. Hydroelectric power is much cleaner than electricity powered by coal or natural gas. And then there are the incentives. For years, Norwegians who opted for a zero-emissions car enjoyed a wealth of benefits, including an exemption from sales, import and road taxes. Emissions-free vehicles are parked for 50% of the going rates for tolls & parking.

But the U.S. electric vehicle market does have at least one thing in common with Norway: nearly all of the recent U.S. gains can be attributed to Tesla and its new Model 3. We will continue to monitor the percentage of new vehicles sold.