A heat wave Monday led to the most expensive natural gas spot trades recorded at SoCal Citygate going back to at least 2008, as a volatile mixture of elevated gas-fired electric demand and ongoing supply constraints blew the roof off of prices. Largely driven by gains in California and the Desert Southwest, the NGI National Spot Gas Average surged 51 cents to $3.22/MMBtu.
Articles from Peak
Denver-based Jagged Peak Energy Inc., whose expertise is centered in the Permian Basin, said well delays cut into fourth quarter production results, which should be rectified this year. However, the unexpected decision by CEO Joseph N. Jaggers to step aside in March overshadowed preliminary results.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, set a new winter peak demand record between 7 and 8 a.m. CST on Monday. Cold weather drove power demand to an hourly peak of 57,958 MW, according to initial data. The previous winter peak of 57,265 MW was set Feb. 10, 2011. The new winter record exceeds the previous December demand record of 53,642 MW (set Dec. 10, 2013, between 7 and 8 a.m.) by more than 4,000 MW. As a cold front blew into the state over the weekend, the ERCOT system also experienced a new record for instantaneous wind generation output. Wind output reached 15,195 MW at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, topping the previous record of 15,033 set Nov. 27, 2016. ERCOT recently said an improving economy has lifted power demand in the Lone Star State, which gets most of its power from natural gas-fueled plants.
California’s electric grid operator said on Wednesday that summer power supplies should be adequate even after the closure of the state’s largest natural gas storage facility in Southern California.
U.S. natural gas production should peak in May or June, but summer output is going to be higher than it was a year ago, analysts with Genscape Inc. said Wednesday.
Physical natural gas prices for Wednesday delivery advanced on average another 11 cents Tuesday as continued forecasts for well above normal temperatures along the Eastern Seaboard, combined with the organization of an area of low pressure over the western Caribbean Sea, maintained upward pressure on next-day pricing. With few exceptions, all points were up by a dime or more, and some locations added close to a quarter.
Physical natural gas prices Tuesday for delivery Wednesday experienced broad and pervasive selling as a weak screen, expectations of sizeable storage builds, and no tropical activity pulled the plug on pricing. Overall, prices settled on average 8 cents lower, and virtually no points made it to the positive side of the trading ledger. At the close of futures trading, October had fallen 11 cents to $3.492 and November was down by 11.8 cents to $3.559. November crude oil fell 46 cents to $103.13/bbl.
Natural gas prices in the physical market overall rose an average of 3 cents on Wednesday for Thursday delivery. Nearly all points posted gains of anywhere from a penny to a nickel with the infrastructure-challenged and unpredictable Marcellus Shale locations recording small losses to double-digit gains and Midcontinent and California points coming in with solid gains.
FERC Thursday approved Northern Natural Gas pipeline’s proposal to construct and operate facilities to offload liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its peak-shaving facility in Hancock County, IA, to respond more quickly in the event of outage emergencies, heightened demand and required maintenance, as well as to provide LNG liquefaction and delivery service to third parties on an interruptible basis.