Temperatures across the nation have cooled during the past three weeks, pulling down the warmer than normal conditions for the summer to 9.4 percent more cooling degree days – warmer than normal – since the first week of May. Regionally, the Pacific (31.9 percent warmer) and New England (54.7 percent warmer) regions have been warmest compared to normal, with the Middle Atlantic and Mountain regions also very warm. The center of the country has experienced, cumulatively, much more near normal conditions for the summer season to date.
With that said, hurricane activity this year in the Atlantic basin has been relatively calm though more activity is expected. Hurricane season normally gets more serious during August and September, but influences on domestic supply and prices (even short term impacts) have been muted in recent years because of the emergence of shale gas supplies, which are centered onshore in the U.S.
As of August 2, the Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane forecast team has reduced its estimate of nine hurricanes to eight, and four major storms to three for the remainder of the 2013 season. According to the CSU analysts, the Atlantic tropical water has cooled from original predictions in the eastern Atlantic and the chances of an El Nino event are very small. Each of those conditions points to some reduction in original activity forecasts.
Let’s see what August and September bring!
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.
Please direct questions and comments to Chris McGill at email@example.com or Richard Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When subscribers of American Gas magazine receive their February edition, they’ll notice a few changes.
In keeping with its tradition of innovation and industry expertise, the American Gas Association (AGA) has redesigned its monthly trade publication to bring readers even more of the best news and information on natural gas utilities and the role they are playing in America’s energy future.
New magazine content will explore the business of gas – how everything from commodity markets to regulations affects the bottom line. Coverage will also include updates about AGA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of its members, along with profiles of emerging voices within the natural gas industry.
America’s natural gas utilities touch almost every segment of their customers’ lives. In turn they become a crucial part of the nation’s economic recovery, environmental health and national security. American Gas examines both the technical and regulatory systems and processes that ensure the continued safe and reliable delivery of natural gas, as well as the broader benefits the industry brings to society. Check out February’s edition for in-depth coverage of all of these issues and more.
Join the energy conversation today. Subscribe to American Gas here.
Andrew Revkin over at the Times blog Dot Earth has a great story titled “An M.I.T. Plan for Natural Gas With Planet in Mind.” In the story he takes a look at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology new release “The Future of Natural Gas.” A couple snippets from the article that caught my eye:
M.I.T. team’s conclusion on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”: The environmental impacts of shale development are challenging but manageable. Research and regulation, both state and federal, are needed to minimize the environmental consequences.
On gas to provide a flexible source of “fill in” power to complement expanded use of variable wind power: Furthermore, additional gas-fired capacity will be needed as backup if variable and intermittent renewables, especially wind, are introduced on a large scale. Policy and regulatory steps are needed to facilitate adequate capacity investment for system reliability and efficiency. These increasingly important roles for natural gas in the electricity sector call for a detailed analysis of the interdependencies of the natural gas and power generation infrastructures.
Be sure to take a trip over to read the full article.
I’m not sure if you have seen the new EPA report on emissions related to natural gas, but for those who are not familiar with the data under discussion the conclusion is misleading.
First and foremost, though, kudos to the EPA for looking at upstream emissions for comparing natural gas to other options. The problem, however, is that the actual data used is limited and may even inflate methane emissions by several orders of magnitude.
The EPA and everyone else in the industry has been using “emission factors” developed long ago to estimate how much methane leaks from production wells, pipeline valves and the like. It’s common knowledge that these emission factors were based on very limited field testing performed nearly 20 years ago, and that they are seriously in need of updating and refinement. The EPA even addresses this issue of outdated data in its November 2010 Technical Support document. However, without any support to back up the claim, the EPA then claims that emissions today may be higher than they were 20 years ago.
Not only is such a statement wholly unsupported by any data, it’s actually in opposition to recent findings. EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program managers, fully aware of the problem with outdated information, took steps about four years ago to launch a joint research project with energy industry trade groups to do new, more extensive field testing on modern natural gas systems to see what is really going on and to develop updated emission factors.
That work has already resulted in some new emission factors for natural gas distribution and transmission equipment, and other work is continuing this year and next. The work so far shows that methane emissions are declining as natural gas systems become tighter as the result of new technology, equipment and procedures.
And let’s not forget that even using the old inflated emission factors, EPA estimates that natural gas is more efficient and lower emitting than other options.