Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reading While Waiting For the EIA's Storage Report: "Natural gas trading to become more like coal, not oil"

Yes, the report will be a day early and Platts' survey has a drawdown in the 23-27 Bcf range. That's probably high, I'll post the Heating Degree Days report if I can get it before the EIA announcement.
From Reuters:
New natural gas discoveries and rising demand are changing gas from a cluster of regional markets into a global marketplace, but instead of becoming a second oil market gas is likely to become more like coal.
Because gas and oil were being produced largely by the same exporters and both fuels were often used in the same industries, gas has historically been pegged to the oil market through long-term contracts.
But a rising disconnect between gas and oil suppliers and new bilateral contracts between exporters and their customers based on regional gas exchanges mean that gas, like coal, is more likely to take its cue from specific regional prices rather than global benchmarks, such as oil's Brent crude.

"A new relationship is developing between oil and gas prices," Axa Investment managers said in a research report published this month.

Additionally, the rise of new gas supplies from countries that don't export oil, as well as the emergence of Asia as a major demand hub, have boosted trading of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This will shift gas trading away from pipelines towards a seaborne commodity set to emerge next to coal as the world's dominant fuel for electricity generation.

"More LNG terminals ... mean liquid fuels can come from anywhere," Axa said.

This would mirror developments previously seen in the coal market, which emerged as a globally traded commodity in the second half of the 20th century as suppliers around the world began serving centres of big demand in America, Europe and Asia....MORE
The first thing I thought of when I saw the headline was the coal contract's delivery specification:
Delivery shall be made F.O.B. buyer's
barge at seller's delivery facility on
the Ohio River between Mileposts
306 and 317, or on the Big Sandy
River, with all duties, entitlements,
taxes, fees, and other charges
imposed prior to delivery paid by the
seller. There will be a discount of
$0.10 (10¢) per ton below the final
settlement price for any delivery to a
terminal on the Big Sandy River.
Now where am I going to get a barge?