Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised that there was a withdrawal of 141Bcf from Underground Storage for the week ending December 14th, 2018.

This is 6Bcf above the median forecast of a 135Bcf withdrawal, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. The withdrawal compares with -182Bcf last year and -144Bcf for the five-year average. Storage is 697Bcf below last year for the same week and 720Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 2,773Bcf.

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 10:02AM CST, January 2018, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $3.77, -$0.56 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $3.06, -$0.13 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 9:53AM CST, January, 2018, (the prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $46.64, -$4.81 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels to 441.5 million barrels for the week ended December 14th, according to data released yesterday morning by the US Department of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a decrease of 2.4 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs

U.S. Rotary Rigs drilling for natural gas were unchanged at 198 for the week of December 14th. The number of rigs currently drilling for Natural Gas was +18 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil were -4 at 873. There are 126 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian rigs were -12 at 174 for the week. Rigs targeting oil remain 82% of all US drilling activity.

Geopolitical


(CNN) Teen tells climate negotiators they aren't mature enough: Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish environmental activist, all but shamed the 190 countries represented at the United Nations COP24 conference in Poland last week.

The young activist accused negotiators -- gathered in Katowice to establish rules for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change -- of abandoning future generations. "You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes," Thunberg said during an address to attendees on Wednesday.

The so-called "Paris Rulebook" agreed to on Saturday falls short of achieving its goals. Scientists and negotiators say that countries would have to do far more than what the rules stipulate to curb fossil fuel use and deforestation and avoid severe weather associated with global warming.

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the most of the US with the exception of the deep Southeast, which will be at normal or below-normal temps. The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts the Eastern half of the country at above-normal temps with the Center at normal temps and most of the West at below normal temps. 

11-15 Day Outlook  forecasts the a similar picture. The 30-day Outlook projects normal temps for almost all of the US except the far North Central states, which are projected to be at above-normal temps.

The 90-Day Outlook projects the most of the country at normal temps with the exception of the Northwest, which is expected to be at above-normal temps and Southeast, expected to be at below-normal temps. Forecasters expect the ocean to eventually win over weather patterns, with at least a 90% chance that El Niño will develop this winter.

Sustainability and Renewables

Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Be an Energy Source. But Should It? The national park could power the entire continental U.S. with clean energy. Here’s why it remains untapped: The northwest corner of Wyoming is boiling. There, 10,000 hydrothermal features transform  Yellowstone National Park into an alien world with searing waters and steaming vents—all fueled by a simmering supervolcano.

While scientists agree that  Yellowstone is not likely to erupt anytime soon, if and when it does, the event would be catastrophic. A massive magma chamber feeds this supervolcano, and an eruption would pack enough power to expel more than a thousand cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once. That would blanket most of the continental United States in debris and potentially plunge Earth into a volcanic winter.

This Week's Key Take-Away


The NYMEX Natural Gas prompt month has dropped below $4 and even got down to $3.50 earlier in the week. While the withdrawal from underground storage was slightly more than anticipated the weather is projected to be warmer-than-normal for the near term. This means that it is now expected that the next few weeks of withdrawals will be lower than last year, thus narrowing the shortfall with last year's storage numbers.

Crude has taken a nose dive due to excess inventory both here in the US and around the world. The traders who projected $100/bbl crude by now must feel rather silly.

With wholesale electricity, both real-time and day-ahead power has been low across the nation. The highest numbers we have seen are in California which are still below $.05/KWh.


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