Friday, March 31, 2017

Natural Gas: EIA Weekly Supply/Demand Report

As noted at $3.1450 on Monday:
 "If (big if) natty can get through the little gap at $3.20 there's not much technically to stop it up to the bottom of the big gap at $3.80, with $3.60 a minimum target."
Here's the action thus far:

$3.2280 up 0.0370 today and grinding higher.

From the Energy Information Administration:

for week ending March 29, 2017   |  Release date:  March 30, 2017   |  Next release:  April 6, 2017 

In the News:
Thirteen gigawatts of natural gas-fired power generating capacity to be added in 2017
In 2017, 13 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fired generating capacity is scheduled to come online in the United States, adding to total end-of-2016 natural gas-fired capacity of 431 GW. More than 90% of these capacity additions are coming from combined-cycle power plants, which offer improved efficiency over simple-cycle combustion turbines or steam turbines alone. So far in 2017, two combined-cycle facilities—over 1 GW in total—have been completed and put into service:
  • In a March 14 press release, Competitive Power Ventures announced that the St. Charles Energy Center in Charles County, Maryland, began commercial operations. The new facility can generate 725 megawatts (MW) of power using two gas turbines (205 MW each) and one steam turbine (316 MW).
  • The Polk Power Station near Tampa, Florida, completed a 460 MW expansion on January 16, converting four natural gas-fired combustion turbines into a combined-cycle unit.
The two largest combined-cycle power plants to be completed in 2017 are scheduled to be in service ahead of peak summer demand:
  • The 1100 MW Paradise combined-cycle plant in Drakesboro, Kentucky, is expected to be completed in April and will replace two of the three older Paradise Fossil coal-fired units.
  • The 1000 MW Wildcat Point combined-cycle generating facility in Cecil County, Maryland, is expected to be in service by June 2017. The facility is adjacent to the Rock Springs Generation Facility, a 672 MW natural gas peaking facility.
Total planned retirements of natural gas-fired generating capacity for 2017 are less than 2 GW, with 1.7 GW coming from older steam turbines. In 2016, 8.9 GW of natural gas-fired generating capacity was added, and 4.3 GW was retired (4.1 GW steam turbine), with a net gain of 4.6 GW.
The amount of natural gas consumed for electricity generation has generally increased year over year, while total U.S. net generation across all fuels has remained relatively flat. However, in the fourth quarter 2016, consumption decreased below 2015 levels for the same period as natural gas prices for electricity generators rose. According to the Short Term Energy Outlook, EIA expects the share of U.S. electricity generation from natural gas to decrease from an average of 34% in 2016 to 32% in 2017 because of an expected 23% increase in the average annual natural gas price for electric generators. In 2018, the natural gas share of generation is expected to rise to 33%....
... Overview:

(For the Week Ending Wednesday, March 29, 2017)
  • Natural gas spot prices were mixed this report week (Wednesday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 29). The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.98 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last Wednesday to $3.03/MMBtu yesterday.
  • At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the April 2017 contract expired yesterday at $3.175/MMBtu. The May 2017 contract price increased to $3.231/MMBtu, up 16¢ Wednesday to Wednesday.
  • Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 43 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending March 24. Working natural gas stocks are 2,049 Bcf, which is 17% less than the year-ago level and 14% greater than the five-year (2012–16) average for this week....