Category Archives: weather

Jake Rubin Harvey and Irma Assessment

Hurricane Harvey satellite image - courtesy NOAA/NASA

Hurricane Harvey satellite image – courtesy NOAA/NASA

AGA is closely monitoring the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the destruction these natural disasters have caused. There will no doubt be a long road to recovery, and natural gas utilities in Florida and Texas, and beyond, are working tirelessly to help aid in that recovery.

During a disaster of the magnitude seen with both Harvey and Irma, natural gas utilities, first and foremost, look to confirm that all employees in the affected areas are safe and accounted for and to assess injuries or safety incidents. Thus far, we are getting positive reports from our members in the affected areas and seeing encouraging accounts in the media.

SNL Energy’s Sarah Smith reported on Tuesday afternoon that, “The gas utilities of the Southeast appear to have come through Hurricane Irma with minimal infrastructure damage despite the devastation wrought over large swaths of the region.”

Smith recounts positive news from Florida Public Utilities Co., Florida City Gas and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

E&E’s David Iaconangelo analyzes the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the oil and gas industry. He spoke with Richard Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts Inc., who said in the lead-up to Irma’s landfall that pipelines were often designed “so they can run independently, like an island on their own.”

The piece goes on to note that, “Operators of the Gulfstream and Sabal Trail pipelines, which deliver natural gas from neighboring states to central Florida, said Irma had not interrupted service.”

It is still too early in the evaluation and recovery process to determine whether or not the planned resilience of the natural gas delivery system performed as intended.

In July, the Natural Gas Council, which collectively represents companies that produce, transport and deliver clean, affordable natural gas throughout the United States, released a joint report, “Natural Gas: Reliable and Resilient” that provides a practical guide to the operational measures, physical characteristics and contractual underpinnings of the natural gas system’s exceptional record of reliability and resilience.

Dave McCurdy, our President and CEO, said, “all along the natural gas supply chain, from production to end-use delivery, the industry employs a portfolio of tools to help ensure protection of its facilities from both and physical and cybersecurity threats.”

Our thoughts are with all those in Texas, Florida and other areas hit by these natural disasters for a safe and speedy recovery.

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Richard Meyer Natural Gas Market Indicators: August 31, 2017

Even though summer temperatures have been warmer than normal on average this year, natural gas volumes to power generation remain below 2016 levels (down 2.9 Bcf per day year-to-date). Growth in gas exports has not been able to offset lower demand in both the power sector and residential/commercial, the latter of which is down 1 Bcf per day this year after a relatively mild winter. The result is that total lower-48 consumption of natural gas has been 1.9 Bcf per day less year-to-date in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, per Bentek Energy.

Unpredictable events such as Hurricane Harvey also have an impact on the natural gas supply-demand balance in the short run. Hurricanes often require temporary production shut-ins, as Harvey does, but these events can also lead to demand reductions through cooler temperatures via the storm and reduction of economic output such as reduced manufacturing or refining during the duration of the storm.

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 cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: August 15, 2017

This August has begun with natural gas to power generation volumes 5.0 Bcf per day on average below that in August 2016. Suffice to say, the record highs for natural gas consumption in the power sector during 2016 may not be matched this year. Interestingly, it is the industrial sector that is up about 0.4 Bcf per day this August compared to last and up 0.2 Bcf per day year-to-date to 21.2 Bcf daily. Demand in the residential sector is down 0.9 Bcf per day year-to-date making sector demand (without including pipeline and liquefied natural gas exports) about 3.7 lower in 2017 compared to 2016.

Recent forecasts from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration expect warmer than normal temperatures for the country except the desert southwest for August through November. As cooling degree data stands now, all regions of the country have been warmer than normal since May 2017 except for the East and West North Central, which has been slightly cooler. In aggregate, New England and Pacific regions have deviated the furthest from normal with 21.9 percent and 56.2 percent more cooling degree days, respectively, recorded since early May 2017. With that said, much of the country was cooler than normal last week and the week before, so is that a trend? Only time will tell.

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 cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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Richard Meyer Natural Gas Market Indicators: December 15, 2016

Natural gas demand in the lower-48 climbed above 100 Bcf on December 8, a first for the 2016–17 winter and the highest consumption level since February. If arctic air moves into North America and temperatures drop and stay low, we’re likely to see a number of 100+ Bcf days during December. Supplies are still well positioned to meet this uptick in demand.

Storage inventories are still at about 3.9 Tcf; production remains above 70 Bcf per day; and pipeline and LNG imports are there to help meet additional pulls on the system. However, the market has decided that supplies are going to be needed sooner rather than later. Natural gas moved into normal backwardation in early December.

With January 2017 contracts calling for a premium to subsequent months, traders may be sending signals that even more supplies could be needed to meet a January cold snap. All is dependent on where temperatures go from here. The market is poised and ready to meet whatever demand is thrown at it. 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 cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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