Natural gas March futures closed at $6.09 per MMBtu on February 19 and went even higher afterwards before falling once again. This could seem like a dramatic rise and psychological threshold for natural gas prices, but there are some important facts to keep in mind for context. First, it has been a very cold winter with persistent low temperatures. Records for highest month, week and day for total natural gas consumption were in January.
This January also saw the highest winter-month electricity load, ever. For its part, natural gas volumes to power generation for a January were the highest ever recorded, also. February natural gas demand is 8.6 percent above last year while storage volumes are 35 percent below the five-year average. With that said, winter price movements have been muted compared to history when similar piled-on events have occurred. What then is our takeaway? That the nation’s natural gas supply portfolio, so far, has handled persistent cold and major weather events very well.
Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Shale Gas, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.
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The American Gas Association’s (AGA) updated Playbook for 2014 is hot off the presses and filled with the latest facts and information about natural gas and how it is delivered to more than 71 million homes and businesses throughout the United States. Here are 10 facts from the 2014 AGA Playbook that can help you navigate today’s energy conversation and understand the role natural gas can play in a clean, secure and affordable future.
- America has access to more domestic natural gas than ever before. The estimated future supply of natural gas has more than doubled for the period 1990-2012 average. The United States has 2,718 trillion cubic feet of accessible natural gas. This is enough to meet America’s diverse energy needs for more than 100 years.
- Low natural gas prices are expected to increase real disposable income per household by approximately $2,000 in 2015 and more than $3,500 by 2025.
- 3 million American jobs are supported by the natural gas industry.
- Greater use of natural gas in transportation will help improve our economy, our environment and our energy security. On average, compressed natural gas costs 52 percent less than gasoline.
Expanding and Enhancing Infrastructure
- Natural gas utilities operate the safest energy delivery system in the nation and are committed to continually enhancing that record. Natural gas utilities spend more than $19 billion annually to help enhance the safety of the more than 2.4 million miles of natural gas distribution and transmission systems they operate.
- There are nearly 1.3 million miles of plastic pipe – the leading edge of advanced utility pipeline materials. In the past decade, natural gas utilities have installed updated plastic pipelines at a rate of 30,000 miles per year.
- More than 15 states have adopted or are currently considering innovative proposals to expand natural gas systems, and that number is quickly growing.
Natural Gas is Clean and Efficient
- Natural gas systems accounted for 75 percent of the decline in U.S. methane emissions from 2007 to 2011, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Emissions from natural gas distribution pipelines have been reduced by 16 percent in the past decade. Only 0.3 percent of produced natural gas is emitted from systems operated by local natural gas utilities.
- The direct use of natural gas in America’s homes and businesses achieves 92 percent energy efficiency, and a household with natural gas vs. all-electric appliances produces 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Check out the complete 2014 AGA Playbook for more facts and to request hard copies, and visit www.aga.org to learn even more about America’s natural gas utilities.
A number of winter season records were set in January 2014, including volumes directed to power generation. According to Bentek Energy LLC, average daily consumption of natural gas for power of 21.4 Bcf in January was an all-time high for the month, as was the volume of 31.1 Bcf for a single day of gas-fired generation on January 7. These facts point to the institutional load increases that are building for power generation within the natural gas energy sector.
Even price has not adversely impacted the growth in gas to power generation during winter months, inasmuch as February 2014 Henry Hub cash has averaged about $5.84, which is higher than February 2012 and 2013 cash prices by 141 and 75 percent, respectively, according to Bentek Energy LLC. In addition, January 2014 exhibited the highest electric load for a winter month ever required from all generation sources, according to Bentek.
Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.
By safely and reliably delivering energy to fuel the daily needs of customers throughout the U.S., local natural gas utilities are essential members of the communities they serve. But many companies go beyond the daily business of providing natural gas – whether by supporting local charities and community projects, fostering sustainability and helping improve their local environment, or through countless other contributions that enhance the quality of life where they live and work. Two AGA member companies have created videos that demonstrate the vital role they play in their customers’ lives and the ways they contribute to their communities.
CPS Energy, based in San Antonio, Texas, runs an annual fundraising campaign to support the United Way. Employee contributions to the CPS Energy United Way Campaign fund several local charities including the Girl Scouts of Texas, Respite Care of San Antonio and City Year. During 2013, CPS Energy employees and retirees raised over $982,000 for the United Way Campaign through donations, agency events and sponsorships. Employees also logged 11,000 community service hours in 2013.
National Grid, which serves New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachussetts has a robust Corporate Responsibility strategy to help ensure that the company meets its communities’ needs today and into the future. Their video “Making connections: creating shared value,” highlights some of the local initiatives National Grid supports including City Year, Girls Inc., environmental and Earth Day projects and more.
Check out the Boston College Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Film Festival to vote for your favorite video. Today is the last day to vote though, so act fast!