Monday, October 19, 2020

Platts "Commodity Tracker: 6 charts to watch this week"

Two of the six have the same general topic so we'll go with them as the exemplars.

 From S&P Global Platts, October 19:

Libyan oil flows have resumed but their stability remains uncertain, while India’s coal powered generation has dipped, granting gains to renewables. S&P Global Platts editors and analysts also discuss the latest Chinese actions on coal imports, Norwegian gas flows to Europe, and separate challenges faced by power markets in the UK and California. 
....4. Norwegian gas flows rebound after setbacks

Norway gas exports to Europe UK

What’s happening? Norwegian gas flows have rebounded following the end of strike action in early October, with exports now back at highs not seen since the end of March. It has been a volatile few weeks for Norwegian gas, with the strike impacting some 40 million cu m/d of supply, a heavy maintenance schedule in September and a fire at the Hammerfest LNG plant that forced its closure.

What’s next? Norwegian flows to Europe are traditionally higher in the peak-demand winter months, and with day-ahead prices having recovered to Eur14/MWh in recent weeks from their lows below Eur4/MWh in May, operators may look to maximize flows. How Norwegian gas fares in the coming weeks may depend, however, on the reliability of its offshore assets and whether any unplanned outages could impact flows.
....6. … while in UK loss of CCGTs, ageing nuclear pose risks to winter supply


UK power price spikes October 2020

What’s happening? The Winter Outlook for UK power supply is generally comfortable, according to National Grid in its annual update Oct. 15. While generation capacity margins are down year on year, they remain well above government guidelines based on a loss of load risk of three hours a year. The reassuring tone of the report, however, was at odds with the state of the system Oct. 15-16, when tight margins due to low wind, rising demand, reduced generation availability and reduced import capacity pushed hourly prices up dramatically, spiking over GBP180/MWh for the evening peak.

What’s next? Power traders believe any recurrence of high pressure weather systems this winter, reducing wind speeds across regions, will prompt further bouts of scarcity pricing similar to those seen last week and in mid-September. For the UK the problem has been exacerbated by Calon Energy’s decline into administration, taking two large CCGTs out of the market at short notice. Add to this an ageing, unreliable UK nuclear fleet and delays to new interconnection capacity, and the expectation is for more capacity warnings from the Grid at short notice, initiating a scramble for flexible supply from gas and, if prices rise over GBP100/MWh, diesel gensets....



Soooo...replacing combined-cycle gas turbines with diesel? That's not very green.