Natural Gas in Underground StorageThe weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was an injection of 78Bcf (billion cubic feet) into Underground Storage for the week ending June 29th, 2018.
This is 3Bcf above the median forecast of a 75Bcf injection, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The injection one year ago was 60Bcf and the 5-year average injection is 70Bcf. Storage is 717Bcf below last year for the same week and 419Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 2,152Bcf.
Natural Gas Pricing
As of 9:00AM CST, August 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.84, -$0.13 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.83, -$0.09 from one week ago.
Crude Oil Pricing
As of 9:37AM CST, August, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $73.51, +$0.08 from one week ago.
Crude Oil Inventory
US crude inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels to 417.9 million barrels for the week ended June 29th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decrease of 5.2 million barrels.
U.S. Rotary Rigs
U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were -1 at 187 for the week of June 29th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was 3 higher than last year’s level of 184. US Rigs drilling for oil were -4 at 858. There are 102 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were +12 at 172 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain 82% of all US drilling activity.
Reallocating Biofuels to Oil Refineries Compounds Bad U.S. Energy Policy: The EPA's decision to reallocate ethanol and biofuel blending obligations waived under its small refinery exemption program to other the other bigger refineries has now been delayed.
The EPA is expected to make the announcement as part of its proposed annual biofuel blending mandates under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard that requires the usage of a certain amount of biofuels. The RFS makes refineries blend increasing amounts of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel into oil-based fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, or buy compliance credits from those who do.
WeatherThe AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts above-normal temperatures for New England and most of the western half of the country. Below-normal temps are forecast for the Southeast Texas and Arkansas. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the majority of the US at above-normal temps with the Southeast at normal temps. The 11-15 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temperatures for the East Coast and most of the Western half of the country, with the balance of the US at normal temps.
The 30-day Outlook projects above-normal temps for the Western half of the US, with the Eastern half at normal temps.
Sustainability and Renewables
Solar Cell Breakthrough Could Make Panels Far More Efficient, Study Says: The material transforms photons from the sun into a totally different quasiparticle, a plasmon: One hurdle for solar energy proponents and the engineers that build them is the fact that solar cells aren’t terribly efficient. The maximum theoretical efficiency for the main kind of photovoltaic cell is about 29 percent. Sunlight’s bouncing around, getting absorbed as waste heat, and just generally not being converted into electricity. So a team from MIT and Israel’s Technion designed a coating that could help funnel more light into them.
“We can totally control the properties of the light, not just measure it,” according to Yaniv Kurman, a electrical engineering PhD. student at Technion who worked on the project, speaking to MIT News.
This Week's Key Takeaway
At 80 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), the U.S. just hit another record for dry natural gas production, a 46% increase since 2008 when the “shale gas revolution” started. The economic and energy security advantages are well known, but what has gotten less attention is how huge the environmental benefits of producing and using more natural gas have been. In particular, mounting domestic supply has increasingly pushed us to more gas use in the electricity sector, which accounts for 35% of our total gas usage, especially noticeable the past week with air conditioners ramping up to fight the heat wave. U.S. gas needed for electricity has increased 40% over the past decade to ~26 Bcf/d, pushing gas to become our main source of power in beginning in 2016.NG has negligible local pollutants and 50% less CO2 emissions than coal and 30% less than oil.