The electric market has shown some volatility, but it is still a good time to hedge. ISO-NE remains flat, while NYISO and PJM moved up slightly from last week. These markets haven’t seen a spike since the cold weather in January. ERCOT, however, continues to climb as a result over concern from the tightening of reserve margins for the coming summer.
The Day-Ahead market continues to trade in a fairly tight range. The market will need an indication of warmer weather before any severe drops occur.
Natural Gas Markets
The natural gas 12-month strip dropped slightly from last week’s report. The second half of March now looks to experience some below average temperatures, causing heating demands to linger longer than expected. If we continue to see colder temperatures later into April, we might start to see some price pressure.
Six-Month Natural Gas Futures
Futures as of 3/14/18 versus previous week:
Apr. $2.731 -0.046
May. $2.759 -0.047
Jun. $2.809 -0.038
Jul. $2.859 -0.033
Aug. $ 2.874 -0.025
Sep. $2.858 -0.020
Natural Gas Inventory
According to EIA estimates, working gas in storage was 1,532 Bcf as of Friday, March 9, 2018. This represents a net decrease of 93 Bcf from the previous week. The market was expecting a withdrawal of 100 Bcf. Despite the withdrawal being lower than expectations, it was still higher than historical averages due to the lingering cold weather. There was a 55 Bcf withdrawal, with the five-year average of 97.
NG Rig Count
The Baker Hughes exploration gas rig count increased by 1 rig to a total of 189 rigs. The report total is 32 rigs more than in operation last year when there were 157 rigs.
The NOAA 6-10 day forecast is calling for cooler than normal temperatures for most of the country, while the Southern states will experience warmer-than-normal weather.
National Weather Service Updates (NOAA)
Hurricane Watch- No Activity: Click here to view the National Hurricane Center site.
Equatorial Pacific Outlook: Click here to view La Nina and El Nino status.
Energy News & Resources
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has introduced legislation to create a new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive.
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