Natural Gas in Underground Storage

The weekly EIA Natural Gas Storage Report advised today that there was a draw of 161Bcf from Underground Storage for the week ending 12/20/19.

This is 13Bcf above the forecast of a 148Bcf draw, the average prediction of sector analysts and traders in the Dow Jones Newswires weekly survey. This compares with a draw of 130Bcf last year and a 158Bcf draw for the five-year average. Storage is 518Bcf above last year for the same week and 69Bcf below the 5-year average. Working gas in storage stands at 3,250Bcf. (Read More ...)

Natural Gas Pricing


As of 9:47AM CST, January 2020, (the prompt month) Natural Gas was trading at $2.20, -$0.09 from one week ago and the 1-Year Spread average was $2.28, - $0.02 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Pricing


As of 9:48AM CST, February, 2020, (the new prompt month) Light, Sweet Crude on the NYMEX was at $61.45, +0.32 from one week ago.

Crude Oil Inventory


US crude inventories (EIA) decreased by 5.4 million barrels to 441.4 million for the week ended December 20th, according to data released this morning by the US Dept of Energy. Traders in the Reuters poll projected a draw of 7.9 million barrels.

U.S. Rotary Rigs


According to the Baker Hughes Count, US Rotary Rigs targeting Natural Gas were -4 at 125 for the week ending December 20th and -72 from last year.

Rigs targeting Crude were +18 at 685. There are 198 fewer rigs targeting oil than last year. Canadian Rigs were -4 at 149 and -+18 from last year. US Rigs drilling for oil move up 1% to 84% of all drilling activity.

Geopolitical


US Energy Chief Shrugs Off Permian Oil Slowdown as ‘Pause’: The golden age of U.S. shale is far from over, with an expected slowdown in the Permian Basin likely to be temporary, according to the new U.S. energy secretary.

The shale boom helped transform the U.S. into a net exporter of crude and petroleum products in September from a major importer a decade ago.

Even as growth is set to slow next year in the Permian and elsewhere as drillers respond to investor demands for capital restraint, Dan Brouillette said the shale boom has further to run.

“Maybe there are some folks who, for whatever reason, thought they could make some quick money in this and they are learning that production is not as easy as you might think,” Brouillette said Dec. 17. “You may see some of them go by the wayside.”

Brouillette, who replaced Rick Perry at the beginning of the month, said improvements in drilling technology meant companies are better equipped to respond to price fluctuations than in the past. And prices are less volatile than they used to be, given the new status of the U.S. as a major producer. The widely anticipated slowdown in the Permian next year “could be a pause,” he said.

“You are also going to see some natural adjustments to the price of gas and the price of oil, and as a result some of those guys are going to pull back a little bit,” he said. “But that’s normal, that’s the business cycle, that’s not the Permian
(Read More ...)

Weather

The AccuWeather 1-5 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the Eastern half of the US and the balance of the states bordering Canada. The Southwest is expected to be at below-normal temps and Northern California and Oregon are expected to be at normal temps.

The 6-10 Day Outlook forecasts above-normal temps for the entire country with the exception of the Southwest, which is expected to be at normal temps or below-normal temps.

The 11-15 Day Outlook forecasts normal temps for the entire country with the exception of the Southwest and North-Central states, which are expected to be at below-normal temps. Additionally, the Eastern Coastal states are projected to be above-normal from New Jersey through Florida.

The 30-Day Outlook shows normal temps for  the entire US with the exception of the Southern Coastal States from Louisiana to North Carolina and Northern California California, which are projected to be above-normal. Additionally, the North Central states are projected to be below-normal.

The 90-Day Outlook shows normal temps for the  entire country,  except for parts of Oregon, Idaho and Washington state, which are expected to be at above-normal temps. Additionally, the Great Lakes area is expected to be at below-normal temps.

Severe Weather: One more cross-country storm is forecast to sweep through the central United States before the end of the year. (Read More ...)

Sustainable and Renewable Energy   


A significant chunk of carbon dioxide emissions come from the transportation sector, and within Europe nearly 40 percent of transport emissions come from trucks. Now, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Lausanne (EPFL) have come up with a new concept for capturing carbon dioxide from truck exhausts which could reduce emissions by up to 90%.
In a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Energy Research, the researchers propose capturing carbon dioxide from a truck's exhaust pipe and turning it liquid, which is stored in a tank on the vehicle's roof. This liquid carbon dioxide can then be delivered to a service station where it can be reused in various ways, including being turned into conventional fuel.

The carbon dioxide capture works by first cooling the gases which are emitted from the exhaust pipe. Special absorbent materials developed at EPFL could separate the carbon dioxide from other gases like nitrogen and oxygen. When it is full, the absorbent material is then heated to extract the carbon dioxide, and heat from the vehicle's engine is used to compress the carbon dioxide and turn it into liquid. That liquid can then be stored in a box attached to the vehicle's roof until it can be deposited at a service station when the truck refuels.

The system is more appropriate for large vehicles like trucks or buses than for cars as it is rather bulky, requiring a 2-meter-long capsule and weighing 7 percent of the total payload of a truck. However, the researchers calculate that 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions could be recycled in this way.

The system is only a concept at the moment, and the researchers estimate that it will take several years to realize the system in the real world. The next step is to develop a prototype of the system to test out the experimental elements.

This Week's Key Take-Away


Opinion: 2020 Could Be the Year of the Electric Vehicle: There are still plenty of obstacles, but demand is likely to surge with lots of new products coming to market. The good news for EV advocates is that 2019 already has begun moving in the right direction. Tesla sales will set a new record and, while a few products, notably the Jaguar I-Pace, haven’t done nearly as well as expected, we’re likely to see combined demand for hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, set an all-time record of more than 5% of the U.S. new vehicle market this year.

That’s still not earth-shattering, of course, but there are reasons to be optimistic about the year ahead – if for no other reason than the burst of new products coming to market as the decade begins, everything from the Tesla Model Y to the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

There already are a substantial number of battery-based vehicles on the market, more than many folks might have realized. Tesla now offers the Models S, X and 3, Jaguar the I-Pace, Audi got into the all-electric market with its first e-tron model, and Nissan expanded the options for Leaf buyers by adding the longer-range Leaf Plus model.

The latter marks a significant upgrade, more than doubling the distance the Nissan BEV can manage between charges. That helps address one of the most significant challenges the industry faces in trying to get electrified vehicles into the mainstream. The Volkswagen e-Golf manages a mere 125 miles per charge and, even with a big update this past year, the BMW i3 can also run only about 153 miles before having to plug in again. While electric vehicles will remain a niche in 2020, with longer range, more charging stations, prices falling and lots of new products coming to market, 2020 should see significant growth.