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Western Price Survey

November 23, 2016
Natural Gas Values Rise Near Holiday

In advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, natural gas prices saw a significant rise in the confines of an abbreviated Thursday-to-Tuesday trading period.

Henry Hub gas spot values added 42 cents in trading, ending at $2.75/MMBtu on Nov. 21.

Western natural gas values climbed even higher, adding as much as 47 cents in trading. The PG&E CityGate natural gas price gained the most, increasing to $3.25/MMBtu, and also broke the $3 mark.

Gas prices were likely influenced by colder weather, which led to a slight withdrawal from storage after weeks of seasonally mild weather across much of the United States. Working natural gas in storage was 4,045 Bcf as of Nov. 18, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. This is a net decrease of 2 Bcf compared to the previous week. Storage levels are now 1.0 percent greater than a year ago and 6.3 percent greater than the five-year average. There was no net change in natural gas storage levels reported in the Pacific region during the report week.

Meanwhile, Western peak power prices varied in Nov. 18 to Nov. 23 trading. Palo Verde daytime values eroded a dime, while Pacific Northwest hubs added roughly $3. Trades made Nov. 23 were earmarked for Nov. 28 delivery.

Average nighttime power prices were up nominally. Prices added as much as $2.75 in trading.

Demand peaked on the CAISO grid at 28,803 MW Nov. 22, which should be the week’s high. Northwest Power Pool demand reached 56,456 MW Nov. 22.

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Total renewable-energy generation on the CAISO grid peaked at 9,969 MW Nov. 21. Solar generation reached 7,499 MW Nov. 18, while thermal generation reached 13,047 MW Nov. 22.

CAISO demand is forecast to pick up starting Nov. 28, when use should reach 29,625 MW. This could be the first of several days of demand that tops 29,000 MW, according to the grid operator. Los Angeles daytime highs should dip into the 60s starting Nov. 26, while San Francisco highs hover near the 60-degree mark [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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