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Western Price Survey / Archives

October 29, 2004
Gas, Electricity Prices Level Off as Weather Stabilizes

As heavy storms brought rain and snow to California and the Southwest this week, natural gas prices rallied while electricity prices also found some strength. With sunny skies, prices came closer to earth on Friday.

Early-winter storms that pounded California with record rain earlier in the week continued east on Thursday, hitting the Southwest with mighty force. Phoenix got drenched, as snow fell on Flagstaff. After San Francisco experienced flooding on Monday and Tuesday, San Diego County got a record-breaking 4.49 inches of rain on Wednesday that flooded and closed roads and caused traffic jams. The heavy rain also broke records in Los Angeles, Riverside and Fullerton in Southern California.

Gas traded at PG&E CityGate ranged between $7.45 and $7.96/MMBtu in midweek trading, settling to a high of $7.03 on Friday. At Malin and Topock gas hovered between $7.24 and $7.62/MMBtu midweek, before adjusting to a high of $6.55/MMBtu at Malin and $6.73 at the Southern California border on Friday. Gas delivered to the San Juan and Permian hubs traded a bit lower all week, ranging between $6.70 and $7.35/MMBtu through midweek, then dropping to a high of $6.25/MMBtu in Friday sales.

Electricity prices also strengthened during the week before tapering off in late-week trading. Prices were highest in Southern California, where daytime electricity changed hands for between 68 mills and 76 mills/KWh during the week, before dropping to a high of $67.50 mills on Friday. Off-peak power at SP15 went from a low of 42.75 mills on Monday to a high of 52.75 mills/KWh on Wednesday, before settling to a high of $45.25 mills/KWh on Friday.

Peak power in Northern California trailed a bit behind, trading for a high of 72 mills/KWh on Wednesday, before dropping to a high of $54.75 on Friday. Low-demand power North of Path 15 went from 48 mills up to a high of 57.75 mills/KWh on Thursday, edging down to a high of 49.75 mills/KWh in Friday.

Peak power in the Southwest changed hands at Palo Verde for about 61.75 mills to 64 mills/KWh during the week, before settling to a high of 54.75 in Friday trading. Off-peak power at the hub moved between 35 mills and 46 mills/KWh during the week, dropping to a high of $41.50/KWh on Friday.

The Northwest enjoyed normal weather this week and its prices seemed steady-state as well. Power for peak delivery traded at Mid-C on Thursday for between 56.50 mills and 63 mills/KWh, mirroring the early part of the week, before it dropped to a high of $51 mills/KWh on Friday. Nighttime power prices hit a peak of $54 mills/KWh on Wednesday before dropping to a high of 45.25 mills/KWh on Friday [Cassandra Sweet].

Western Electricity Prices
October 25 - 29, 2004
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 26.61-168.83 10.49-136.35
Mid-Columbia 45.50-63 42-54
COB 56-68 46-55.75
NP 15 65-75 47.75-58
SP 15 63-76 42.50-52
Palo Verde 53.50-65.75 28.50-46

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


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