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Western Price Survey

November 14, 2014
Energy Prices Weather Odd Week

Western energy prices experienced a tumultuous week after holiday market closures and well-below-normal temperatures in some areas.

Markets were closed Tuesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans' Day.

On Nov. 12, power prices in the West jumped on forecasts of impending cooler weather. Portions of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho had temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below seasonal norms. Snow and sleet fell in the Portland metro area Nov. 13. Some areas dipped below freezing.

Over the Friday-to-Friday trading period, Mid-Columbia peak prices jumped almost $12 and ended at $42.30/MWh. South of Path 15 and Palo Verde peak prices dropped several dollars. Palo Verde fell $3.30 to $37.30/MWh. By Nov. 14, prices ranged from $37.30 at Palo Verde to $48 at SP15.

North of Path 15 trading was confined to a single trade for peak power Nov. 12 with a $54/MWh average price.

For off-peak prices, Mid-C added $6.35 to $32.70/MWh over the trading period. SP15 eroded 90 cents to $39.15. Average prices Friday ranged from $32.70 at Mid-C to $39.15/MWh at SP15.

Working gas in storage reached 3,611 Bcf as of Nov. 7 according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 40 Bcf from the previous week. The addition was slightly larger than market expectations; forecasts had called for an average addition of 38 Bcf.

"Despite being 51 Bcf lower than the net injection last week, this week's net injections exceeded the five-year average net injection by 24 Bcf and last year's net injection by 18 Bcf," EIA said. A record 2,785 Bcf has been added into storage since April. Overall, storage levels are now 5.7 percent less than a year ago and 6.2 percent less than the five-year average.

Henry Hub natural gas spot values added 27 cents since last Thursday to trade Nov. 13 at $4.18/MMBtu. Western natural gas prices generally gained value over a Thursday-to-Thursday trading period. PG&E CityGate proved the exception, losing 12 cents to $4.39/MMBtu. Other hubs jumped between 33 and 55 cents in trading, led by Sumas, which added 55 cents, ending at $4.08/MMBtu on Nov. 13 (see charts).

What's ahead: After highs near 80 degrees Monday and Tuesday, Los Angeles should fall into the 70s by Nov. 20. San Francisco may see light rains late in the week with daytime highs in the 70s [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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