Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised today that there was an injection of  102Bcf into Underground Storage for the week ending 9/20/19.

This is 13Bcf above the forecast of a 89Bcf injection, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. This compares with an injection of 51Bcf last year and a 74Bcf injection for the five-year average. Storage is 444Bcf above last year for the same week and 47Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 3,205Bcf. (Read More ...)

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 12:16AM CST, October 2019, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.40, -$0.15 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.45, -$0.09 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 12:22PM CST, October, 2019, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $55.84, -$2.74 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories increased by 2.4million barrels to 419.5 million for the week ended September 20th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Dept of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decrease of 0.2 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


According to the Baker Hughes Count, US Rotary Rigs targeting Natural Gas were -5 at 148 for the week ending September 20th and -38 from last year. Rigs targeting Crude were -14 at 719. There are 147 fewer rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian Rigs were -15 at 119 and -78 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil move remain at 83% of all drilling activity.

Geopolitical


In 2018, the United States set a record for energy consumption: 101 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. Of this total, 81 quadrillion Btu (or 80%) were from fossil fuels: petroleum, natural gas and coal.

What does this growing consumption mean for climate change, and is it still possible for the United States to get on a path to reduce emissions at the pace needed?

We reviewed the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) June 2019 Monthly Energy Review publication to unpack the energy consumption data. Our analysis reveals a glass half-full and half-empty. The good news is that clean energy sources such as solar and wind are rising and helping to slow the growth of carbon emissions. The bad news is that the shift away from fossil fuels isn’t happening quickly enough. Here are four key takeaways from EIA’s energy consumption data:

1. Coal is being phased out in the United States: Coal consumption stood at 687 million short tons (MMst) in 2018, the lowest level since the beginning of the 1980s. Coal consumption peaked in 2005 and has declined 42% since then. EIA forecasts coals consumption to fall to 567 MMst in 2020.

All signs point to a bleak outlook for coal. This is despite the Trump administration’s periodic efforts to revive a collapsing industry by pushing initiatives to keep failing coal plants open and relaxing pollution rules for coal-fired power generation
(Read More ...)

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for most of the Eastern 2/3 of the US.  The Western states are projected to be at mostly below-normal temps, while far-western California is expected to be above-normal.

The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for all of the Eastern half of the US with the exception of southern Florida. The Northwest quarter of the country will be a mix of normal and below-normal temps. 

The 11-15 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the Southeast quarter of the country. Northwest and Northeast will be at below-normal temps with the balance of the states at normal temps. 

The 30-Day Outlook shows above-normal temps for most of the US except for the of the Northeast, North-Central states, Florida and a large part of the Southwest, which are projected to be at normal temps.

The 90-Day Outlook shows above-normal temps for Washington state, with the balance of the country at normal temps.

Severe Weather: The National Hurricane Center shows one hurricane and one tropical storm headed towards the US at this time. Tropical Storm Karen is expected to reach Florida but is not expected to head into the Gulf of Mexico. Though fall officially began on Monday, the summerlike weather will continue baking much of the South through the end of September and into next month. The South will face record-breaking temps into early October.

Sustainability and Renewables


Where Solar Energy Is Booming in the US: Rooftop solar isn't going to be the growth driver for solar energy over the next few years. The solar market has seen  ebbs and flows over the past decade, and right now, utility-scale solar appears to be the hottest business in town. According to the Q3 2019 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the utility-scale pipeline has hit an all-time high of 37.9 gigawatts (GW), enough to power 6.2 million homes.

As the pipeline grows, developers and solar manufacturers have a lot riding on who is winning projects. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake over the next few years.

Investors wouldn't have thought that the solar industry would be hitting records with a fairly hostile Trump administration in power, but that's what's happening today. Corporate buyers looking for stability in electricity costs and some green energy kudos from consumers and investors are signing projects at a record pace, and utilities are starting to see solar bids so low they can't be ignored.

In the first six months of 2019, 11.2 GW of utility-scale solar projects have been announced, and 17% of those were from corporate buyers. As recently as 2016, corporate buyers were only 10% of the market and passed just a bit more than 1 GW of projects, a level that's already been surpassed (Read More ...)

This Week's Key Take-Away


One Statistic Shows Coal-Fired Power Plants Have Passed the Point of No Return: Coal-fired power plants are doing something most of us can only dream of: retiring at the age of 46 years. While this is great news for the environment, it is posing problems with capacity for electric generation.

The spring months weren't good for America's shrinking fleet of coal-fired power plants. The facilities generated just 60,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity in April (20% of the nation's total consumption) and operated at just 35.8% of rated capacity. Both stats were historically low, and the hangover persisted into May.

The obvious reason for the dismal performance is that power generators have continued to retire coal-fired power plants without building new coal-fired facilities... or in many cases, any generating facility. While that's true, a closer look at the numbers reveals an important inflection point has been reached: Power generators are now retiring younger, larger assets that were expected to be with us for decades longer. However, the pace of retirements has been accelerating. In 2018, 39 plants were retired for a staggering amount of 13,650 megawatts.  As coal continues to lose market share, natural gas and renewables will keep competing to fill the void. Natural Gas added 1.7 gWh for every 1 gWh of renewables in the last decade.