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Western Price Survey

November 21, 2018
More Maintenance Outages, More Northwest Gas Price Volatility

Periodic testing and maintenance by Enbridge on its T-South natural gas system continues to trigger volatility in Pacific Northwest natural gas prices.

System integrity and safety tests are being conducted from compressor station to compressor station as the system is slowly returned to full operations, Enbridge spokesperson Jesse Semko said.

Maintenance that decreased capacity at the Huntingdon compressor Nov. 16 was part of the testing, which also caused the hub’s natural gas price to spike to $69.46/MMBtu that day. The Alberta East section will be off line starting Nov. 26.

“This [price] was an outlier when compared to historicals but could be considered the norm if work on the damaged pipeline was not in play,” Energy GPS said in a Nov. 19 newsletter.

Canada’s National Energy Board is allowing Enbridge to increase T-South from 80 percent to 85 percent of normal operating pressure, according to a Nov. 17 Enbridge press release. The company anticipates Huntingdon capacity to increase to approximately 1 Bcfd by Nov. 22.

Sumas natural gas values fell roughly $60.65 in the abbreviated Nov. 15 to Nov. 20 trading period, ending at $8.79/MMBtu. Other Western gas hubs generally moved higher, adding between 45 cents and as much as $1.74 in trading. Southern California Border gas added $1.74 to end at $6.14/MMBtu. Among the other three hubs that proved the exceptions, SoCal CityGate natural gas fell the most, dropping $10.59 to $8.02/MMBtu.

Henry Hub natural gas spot prices added 10 cents in trading, ending at $4.72/MMBtu.

Meanwhile, California daytime power prices posted gains in Nov. 15 to Nov. 21 trading. North of Path 15 gained the most, up $9.75 to $72.85/MWh. California-Oregon Border values tumbled $10 to end at $49.50/MWh. By Nov. 21, peak prices ranged from $36/MWh at Palo Verde to $72.85/MWh at NP15.

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For off-peak power, California hubs added roughly $7, while Palo Verde lost the most value, down $11.75 to $33/MWh.

California Independent System Operator demand reached 28,919 MW Nov. 19; however, the grid operator expects usage to reach 29,226 MW Nov. 21.

Total renewables on the CAISO grid reached 9,569 MW Nov. 20, supplying roughly 33 percent of demand. Solar generation reached 7,677 MW that same day, fulfilling roughly 27 percent of demand.

The bulk electric system remains stable in the wake of state wildfires, CAISO spokesman Steven Greenlee said. However, “we have some concern with the upcoming rain event and the potential for mudslides in the fire-scarred areas of the state; debris flows could damage transmission towers,” he 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 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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