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Western Price Survey

July 1, 2016
Natural Gas Prices Move Higher With Holiday

Western natural gas prices saw a lift heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend. Warmer weather has bolstered gas prices in recent weeks, a trend that continued this week.

Working natural gas in storage was 3,140 Bcf as of June 24, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. This is a net change of 37 Bcf compared to the previous week. Storage levels are now 22.8 percent greater than a year ago and 25.4 percent greater than the five-year average.

Working gas in storage within the Pacific region was adjusted lower by roughly 5 Bcf during the report week as part of a "non-flow-related adjustment," according to the EIA. The report did not indicate the specific reason for the change.

Henry Hub gas spot values added 22 cents in Thursday-to-Thursday trading, ending at $2.90/MMBtu June 30.

Western natural gas values gained between 11 cents and as much as 51 cents in trading. PG&E CityGate posted the greatest gains, adding 51 cents to end at $3.26/MMBtu Thursday.

The calendar toyed with power trades. South of Path 15 was the only hub to post peak trades each day of the June 27 to July 1 trading period. Trades made June 29 were earmarked for July 2 delivery, while those posted June 30 and July 1 were earmarked for July 5 delivery.

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Average peak power prices lost between $8.15 and as much as $11.45 in June 24 to July 1 trading. California-Oregon Border fell $11.45 to $29.40/MWh.

Nighttime power prices varied, with Pacific Northwest hubs up roughly 65 cents on average, while SP15 off-peak prices fell $5.45 in trading.

Demand peaked on the CAISO grid at 43,239 MW June 27, which was the high for the week. Total renewables production on the CAISO grid reached 12,691 MW June 24 and total solar production reached 7,794 MW that same day. Thermal generation peaked June 27 at 21,560 MW.

In June, average natural gas prices were on par with the same month last year. The average high price at Henry Hub was precisely the same at $2.93/MMBtu.

Average Western power prices in June were significantly less when compared with the same month last year. Prices last month were generally between $5 and as much as $60/MWh less than the same month in 2015, thanks to extreme heat last year [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 Chris Raphael, editor with questions regarding Price Survey content.

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