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Western Price Survey

November 10, 2017
Amount of Natural Gas in Storage Declines

The amount of natural gas added to storage this year appears to be lower than the amount added last year and lower than the five-year average, according to preliminary U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates.

Although EIA is still crunching final numbers and nominal additions continue, the amount of working natural gas in storage was 3,784 Bcf at the end of storage season, the agency said, which was 2 percent below the five-year average and 5 percent below the record amount in storage at the end of last year’s injection season.

Storage season is traditionally defined as April 1 through Oct. 31; however, additions often continue into November.

EIA estimates total storage additions in this year’s injection season were 15 percent less than the five-year average. The injected amount was the third-lowest net injected volume for the refill season since 2007, according to EIA.

Working natural gas in storage increased slightly by Nov. 3, to 3,790 Bcf, according to EIA estimates. This is a net increase of 15 Bcf compared with the previous week.

Henry Hub gas spot values jumped 47 cents to $3.18/MMBtu between Nov. 2 and Nov. 9.

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In Thursday-to-Thursday trading, Western natural gas prices generally added between 30 and 41 cents. El Paso-Permian and El Paso-San Juan each added 41 cents to reach $2.86/MMBtu and $2.89/MMBtu, respectively, by Nov. 9. Alberta natural gas proved the exception, shedding 12 cents to end at $1.93/MMBtu Thursday.

Pipeline constraints and reduced storage at Aliso Canyon remain a regional concern. In its weekly report, EIA mentioned the continued challenges Southern California Gas Co. still faces in light of the California Public Utilities Commission’s designation of Aliso Canyon as an “asset of last resort” (see story at [15]).

Daytime power prices in the West fell between $8.15 and as much as $20.15 in the abbreviated Friday-to-Thursday trading period. Prices ranged from $22.05/MWh at Mid-Columbia to $42.30/MWh at South of Path 15.

Markets were closed Friday, Nov. 10, in observance of Veterans Day.

Off-peak power prices in the Pacific Northwest dropped roughly $10, while Palo Verde values ticked up $1.25 to $27.35/MWh.

Power demand on the California Independent System Operator grid reached 29,806 MW Nov. 8, which was the high for the week. Northwest Power Pool demand reached 59,403 MW Nov. 7.
–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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