Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised today that there was an injection of 29Bcf into Underground Storage for the week ending April 5th, 2019.

This is 10Bcf below the median forecast of a 39Bcf injection, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. This compares with a withdrawal of 19Bcf last year and a 9Bcf injection for the five-year average. Storage is 183Bcf below last year for the same week and 485Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,155Bcf. (Read More ...)

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 10:58AM CST, May 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.67, +$0.01 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.85, +$0.01 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 9:53AM CST, May, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $63.89, +$1.48 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories increased by 7.0 million barrels to 456.6 million for the week ended April 5th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Dept of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected an increase of 2.3 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were +4 at 194 for the week of April 5th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was even with last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were +15 at 831. There are 23 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -20 at 68 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


NEI Sees Glass Half Full for Nuclear Industry: Despite record-high capacity factors and reduced operating costs, the U.S. nuclear power industry is threatened by federal and state policies and an “increasingly distorted” energy market, Nuclear Energy Institute CEO Maria Korsnick said last week in her annual state of the industry address.

“Our capacity factor and generation has never been higher, and our operation costs have not been this low since 2004,” said Korsnick, citing the 2018 capacity factor of 92% and a 25% drop in “average total generating costs” since 2012. Nuclear power produced 20% of the nation’s electricity in 2018 and more than 55% of emissions-free power, she added.

But Korsnick said nuclear’s role in limiting carbon emissions is at risk from both RTO energy markets that fail to compensate them fairly and renewable portfolio standards in more than half of the states that limit their carbon-free technologies to wind and solar. “They ignore nuclear, and that’s shortsighted,” she said...(Read More ...)

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 Day Outlook forecasts the Eastern 1/3 of the US at above-normal temps, while the balance of the country will be at below-normal or normal temps. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the East coast and California at above-normal temps with the Central states at below-normal temps.

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts below-normal temps for the North-Central states, with normal temps for most of the balance of the country.

The 30-Day Outlook shows normal temps for the entire country, with the exception of the far Northwest and Maine, which are expected to be above-normal.

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

A major winter storm has impacted the center of the country, with winds reaching speeds corresponding to Hurricane Category 2 levels. Snow and freezing rain has hit the Midwest and is headed North.

Sustainability and Renewables


Are Pint-Sized Nuclear Reactors A Cheap Way To Cut Greenhouse Gas Levels? Solving the climate crisis and determining nuclear energy’s role in the fix has long presented a dilemma for global leaders. While the low-carbon power source would appear to be a silver bullet in the battle, it remains a costly technology when compared to the current portfolio of fuels. Enter small modular reactors, which have economic advantages and which may be easier to permit.

The demand for electricity is expected to grow by 45% by 2040, leading to greater emissions as well as higher electricity prices. Thus, the private and public sectors must work together to develop clean energy technologies. Nuclear energy is a conspicuous choice, given that the uranium that fuels such plants is plentiful and that the technology is reliable.

“Government officials must create new decarbonization policies that put all low-carbon energy technologies (i.e. renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels with carbon capture) on an equal footing, while also exploring options that spur private investment in nuclear advancement,” says John Parsons, co-author of study produced by the at MIT’s Sloan School of Management called The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (Read More ...)

This Week's Key Take-Away


President Trump has signed executive orders seeking to boost U.S. energy development. The Executive orders aim to foster oil and gas permitting, but the President’s own trade policies also put a significant barrier to heretofore rapidly growing export markets.

The President’s executive orders to speed up approvals of new oil and gas pipelines is no doubt welcome in an industry long plagued by regulatory delays. But perhaps he should look to his own trade policies instead if he really wants to help U.S. energy businesses.

The executive orders signed this week require that two federal agencies review their rules and guidelines for approving new energy development and that sole authority for permitting any new pipelines will be with the President. Both moves aim to override state and local opposition to new oil and gas pipelines.

“When it comes to the future of America’s energy needs, we will find it, we will dream it, and we will build it,” President Trump said.

However, circumventing Congress with an Executive Order may create a backlash, as Congress has the power to overturn them.