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Western Price Survey

March 1, 2019
Aliso Storage Withdrawals Posted

A combined 6.852 Bcf of natural gas was removed from Aliso Canyon between Feb. 10 and Feb. 24, according to Southern California Gas Co.

The withdrawals started at 11:22 p.m. on Feb. 10 and continued daily through almost 3 p.m. on Feb. 24. The largest single-day withdrawal was 0.766 Bcf recorded Feb. 18.

Following that Feb. 25 ENVOY posting, another 0.267 Bcf of natural gas was reported as having been withdrawn Feb. 26 and 27, combining for a total of slightly more than 7 Bcf.

Withdrawal volumes from storage have been limited, according to the utility, due to aboveground pipeline repairs. SoCal Gas has not provided a date by which the pipeline is expected to return to service.

Mojave Pipeline Co. lifted a force majeure Feb. 24 that had been declared after an equipment failure at its Topock Compressor Station Unit 3. The available capacity returned to 463,000 Dth/day.

But constricted supplies returned to the Northwest. Repairs by Enbridge on its T-South natural gas system necessitated constrained flows, which are scheduled to last through March 6. Sumas natural gas prices leapt to $39.41/MMBtu Feb. 26 before settling to $25.19/MMBtu Feb. 28. The hub’s value skyrocketed by $19.54 week over week. Alberta posted a 23-cent gain, ending at $2.60/MMBtu.

Other Western natural gas hubs’ prices moved lower by between 5 cents and as much as $7.78. SoCal CityGate lost the most in Feb. 21 to Feb. 28 trading, down $7.78 to $5.17/MMBtu.

Western power prices—both peak and nighttime values—dropped across the board in trading.

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Regional daytime power prices plummeted between $21.10 and as much as $57.50 in trading. Palo Verde plunged $57.50 to $28.25/MWh. By Feb. 28, Western peak power prices ranged from $28.25/MWh at Palo Verde to $68/MWh at the California-Oregon Border.

Off-peak power prices saw similar deflation, with prices down between $12.25 and $41.50. Palo Verde lost the most, falling $41.50 to $29.25/MWh.

California Independent System Operator demand reached 28,383 MW Feb. 26, which should be the week’s high. Total renewables on the CAISO grid reached 12,793 MW Feb. 25, satisfying roughly 45 percent of demand.

In February, the average high peak price at Henry Hub was $2.93/MMBtu, 28 cents less than in 2018 (see “Price Trends,” next page).

Western natural gas hub prices in February skyrocketed in comparison with the year prior. In February 2019, PG&E CityGate natural gas was $14.39/MMBtu—$11.05 greater than in 2018.

Average Western power prices generally added between $33.45 and as much as $112 February over February. North of Path 15 was $112 higher than in 2018, at $159.80/MWh.
–Linda Dailey Paulson

Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.

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