Natural Gas in Underground StorageThe weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was an injection of 96Bcf (billion cubic feet) into Underground Storage for the week ending June 8th, 2018.
This is 6Bcf above the median forecast of a 90Bcf injection, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The injection one year ago was 81Bcf and the 5-year average injection is 97Bcf. Storage is 785Bcf below last year for the same week and 507Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 1,913Bcf.
Natural Gas Pricing
As of 11:22AM CST, July 2018, (the new prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.96, unchanged from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.93, +$0.02 from one week ago.
Crude Oil Pricing
As of 11:33AM CST, July, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $66.62, +$1.35 from one week ago.
Crude Oil Inventory
US crude inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels to 432.5 million barrels for the week ended June 8th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decrease of 1.4 million barrels.
U.S. Rotary Rigs
U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were +1 at 198 for the week of June 8th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was 13 higher than last year’s level of 185. US Rigs drilling for oil were +1 at 862. There are 121 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were +13 at 112 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain at 81% of all US drilling activity.
The upcoming OPEC meeting on June 22 is shaping up to be a contentious one, after news broke that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to increase oil production before Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Earlier last week, news surfaced that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to boost output to relieve pressure on prices. But Reuters followed up with a report on June 7, adding more context to that story. According to Reuters, a high level Trump administration official called Saudi Arabia a day before Trump was set to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, asking for more oil supply to cover for disruptions from Iran.
The last time the U.S. government pressured OPEC into adding supply, it was also over Iran. The Obama administration wanted the cartel to offset disrupted Iranian production, after an international coalition put stringent sanctions on Iran in 2012. Roughly 1 million barrels per day were knocked offline.
WeatherThe AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the Central US, with the Coasts expected to be at normal or below-normal temps. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for almost all of the Northern 2/3 of the US with the South expected to be at normal or below-normal temps. The 11-15 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temperatures for the North, with the exception of New England, which will be at normal temps, as will the deep South.
The 30 and 90-day Outlook projects above-normal temps for the Western half of the US, while the balance of the country will be at normal temps.
At the end of May, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecast a 75% chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal. Hurricane season began June 1 and extends to November 30th. Forecasters predict a 70% likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms this seasonof which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher).
Sustainability and Renewables
Artificial Photosynthesis: Arguably, the greatest fueler of life on our planet is photosynthesis, but understanding its labyrinthine chemistry, powered by sunlight, is challenging. Researchers recently illuminated some new steps inside the molecular factory that makes the oxygen we breathe.
Though chlorophyll is the best-known part, for the vivid green it colors nature, many compounds work together in photosynthesis. And Georgia Tech chemists devised clever experiments to inspect players intimately involved in the release of O2 from water in what's known as photosystem II (PSII). PSII is a complex protein structure found in plants and algae. It has a counterpart called photosystem I, an equally complex light-powered producer of oxygen and biomaterials.
Some questions and answers will help elucidate the researchers' findings about a small metal catalyst and an amino acid inside PSII that work hand-in-glove to produce O2.
This Week's Key Takeaway
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released an opinion that neutral conditions are likely through the Northern Hemisphere summer this year, indicating that the extreme weather patterns known as El Niño or La Niña are less probable during this season.
However, the chance of an El Niño pattern, associated with warmer and wetter weather than usual, increases to 50% during the fall and 65% during the winter of 2018-19, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in their monthly forecast.
Of course, not everyone agrees... Weather.com, owned by IBM has opined that above-average temps are expected in the the West this summer, while parts of the Southeast and Midwest may see near to slightly cooler than normal temps. Elsewhere, areas from the Plains into the Great Lakes and Northeast may see above-average during temps June through August.