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Western Price Survey

June 8, 2018
Natural Gas Price Swings Continue

Both Southern California CityGate and Alberta natural gas prices remain volatile, thanks to supply constraints in their respective systems.

Southern California CityGate natural gas lost the most in May 31 to June 7 trading, down 63 cents to $2.78/MMBtu.

From $1.40/MMBtu May 31, Alberta natural gas dipped to 24 cents/MMBtu before ending at 97 cents/MMBtu June 7.

Alberta gas prices “have reacted very violently all spring,” said Energy GPS analysts in a June 5 report. “AECO cash [prices have] moved up and down in a $1.50 USD range throughout the spring. It has surpassed Algonquin, SoCal CityGate and Henry Hub as the most exciting delivery point on the map.”

El Paso-Permian Basin natural gas gained the most among Western hubs, up 46 cents to $2.32/MMBtu.

Working natural gas in storage was 1,817 Bcf as of June 1, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. This is a net increase of 92 Bcf compared to the previous week.

Natural gas storage levels are now 30.5 percent less than a year ago and 22 percent less than the five-year average.

Henry Hub natural gas spot prices gained 4 cents, ending at $2.93/MMBtu.

Meanwhile, Western peak power prices added between 80 cents and as much as $10.15 by June 7. Mid-Columbia posted the greatest gain, jumping $10.15 to $16.70/MWh.

Off-peak power saw swings in both directions. While Palo Verde added $3.50 to end at $20/MWh, North of Path 15 dipped $1.50 to $20.60/MWh. Mid-C ended June 7 at zero value.

The California Independent System Operator set a new record for instantaneous solar generation June 1 at 10,723 MW, surpassing a slightly lower record May 28.

Demand on the CAISO grid reached 33,170 MW June 3, while total renewables reached 16,453 MW June 7, supplying roughly 54 percent of demand.

California’s statewide snow-water equivalent is no longer measureable. The California Department of Water Resources said some snow remains on only four of 130 snow sensors as of the morning of June 7. Roughly half an inch of the snowpack’s remaining snow-water content dissipated during the week.

“During the first week of June, runoff has remained below average for all rivers in the Sierra Nevada. Rivers continue to recede as most major snowmelt peaks have already occurred,” DWR said. What snowpack remains at higher elevations, such as in the southern Sierras, can be monitored through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration imaging resources, the department said. –Linda Dailey Paulson.

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

The Western Price Survey is excerpted from Energy NewsData's comprehensive regional news services. See for yourself how NewsData reporters put events in an accurate and meaningful context -- request a sample of either or both California Energy Markets and Clearing Up.

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Contact Mavis Scanlon, editor with questions regarding Price Survey content.

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