While most of the ISO’s have remained quiet, ERCOT is back on the rise. On peak pricing, especially in July and August is anticipated to be very high, running up the 12-month forward average. Also note that some ISO-NE zones will experience an increase in their capacity market starting in June. Any clients currently on market variable programs should be advised of this change.
Spot pricing in New England has bounced up and down with the changes in weather. However, the volatility has not been as severe as January.
Natural Gas Markets
The natural gas market has been hovered around the $2.70 level with very little movement in recent weeks. Prices climbed a bit throughout the report week as lingering cold weather from the Dakotas to the Northeast caused higher heating-related demand. Although there was some upward pressure on prices, natural gas production is also high, keeping these price increases minimal thus far.
Six-Month Natural Gas Futures
Futures as of 4/4/18 versus previous week:
May $2.718 +0.020
Jun. $2.766 +0.015
Jul. $2.823 +0.015
Aug. $2.840 +0.019
Sep. $ 2.831 +0.022
Oct. $2.844 +0.022
Natural Gas Inventory
As of Friday, March 30, 2018, working gas in storage was 1,354 Bcf. According to EIA estimates this represents a net decrease of 29 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks are currently 34% lower than the year-ago level and 20% lower than the five-year average for this week. Projections for the next two weeks have changed with the fluctuating weather outlooks. Two more withdrawals are anticipated before summer storage rebuilding begins.
NG Rig Count
The Baker Hughes exploration gas rig count remained unchanged from the previous week at 194 rigs. The report total is 29 rigs more than in operation last year when there were 165 rigs.
During the month of March, most of the Northeast experienced colder than normal temperatures. The trend seems to continue according to the NOAA 6-10 day forecast where lower-than-normal temperatures will dominate the Northeast and sweep across to through the West. Only small portions of Texas and Florida are anticipated to be warmer-than-normal.
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
U.S. retail electricity sales fell by 80 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2017, the largest drop since the economic recession in 2009.
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