Category Archives: winter heating

Richard Meyer Natural Gas Market Indicators: Feb. 26, 2015

The one-two-three combination punches of cold weather to the eastern half of the United States have not been enough to pull natural gas commodity prices above $3 per MMBtu. Amid low prices the U.S. is on track to break the all-time record for February natural gas demand, suprassing the record previously set in 2014.

As demand surges, strong dry gas production continues apace as well. Flowing more than 11 percent higher than February 2014, production volumes have helped move storage volumes into a surplus relative to last year. How long this price environment will last remains to be seen. Supplies are now in a stronger place than last year or any time in recent history – which, of course, has contributed to the lower natural gas price environment.

Volumes to power generation and industrial demand are both running above last year, as have volumes to residential and commercial customers. The question remains how much more demand can the market absorb. If production continues to outpace demand growth, how long will the market continue to grow production at low prices? This year is shaping up to be another interesting one indeed.

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: Feb. 13, 2015

The push toward natural gas power generation continues. New data from FERC shows natural gas comprised nearly half the new installed electric capacity additions in 2014 – wind plus solar accounted for the other half.

For the first six weeks of 2015, natural gas volumes serving power generation are up approximately 0.8 Bcf per day compared to this time last year, remembering that January 2014 was an all-time record winter month for gas to power gen. For the nation as a whole, heating degree days have been nearly five percent fewer than normal (warmer than normal) and thus heating load is down from the previous year by about 7.2 Bcf per day.

Overall U.S. demand is down about 6.7 Bcf per day. That means it is possible that storage inventories will be higher than last year as net injections begin in the spring, leaving more natural gas available to meet summer cooling loads. This comes when natural gas prices are low compared to recent history and generators turn to gas for its pricing and environmental attributes. One thing builds on another as the market progresses in 2015.

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: Jan. 30, 2015

The idea of structural versus price-induced demand growth is playing itself out in the power generation market for natural gas this winter. Natural gas power burn has consistently pointed to increased volumes to start the first quarter of 2015 compared to 2014, at least in part due to lower natural gas acquisition prices, and as a result power demand has averaged 22.9 Bcf per day, 1.2 Bcf per day more than last January.

One cannot help but wonder with overt and subtle shifts in the power generation fleet for economic and environmental reasons across the country how much of any of these demand increases are being structurally built into normal gas demand.

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.

Posted in Natural Gas, Natural Gas Market Indicators, weather, winter heating | 1 Comment

Jake Rubin Understanding Your Natural Gas Bill

More than 177 million Americans use natural gas to cook a hot meal, heat their water or warm their houses. Many parts of the country have felt the chill of winter and that means folks are using more natural gas. The American Gas Association has developed a video to explain what goes into your natural gas bill.

Your bill is essentially comprised of three parts:

  1. Gas you used: Often, the largest part of your bill is based on the amount of natural gas you use each month. The United States has an abundance of clean natural gas and that has led to stable and affordable prices. Utilities do not make a profit on the gas they deliver to your home or business.
  2.  Delivery cost: The public utility commission, a group of elected or appointed officials, sets the rate that your utility can charge each month. Included in this cost is maintenance, upgrades of the pipes that deliver natural gas to your home or businesses and everything else that is needed to help ensure safe and reliable delivery of natural gas.
  3.  Local, state and federal taxes.

During the 2013-14 Winter Heating Season, the natural gas delivery system in the United States achieved historic levels of performance. More natural gas was delivered through more pipelines to more customers than ever before, and customer bills remained affordable. Residential customer bills increased only 10 percent on average from the prior winter – an increase mostly due to higher consumption.

AGA expects relatively warmer temperatures this winter based on information from the climate Prediction Center, which may lead to a reduction in demand. Natural gas prices are likely to be slightly higher, resulting in an increase in customer bills of about seven percent this winter.

Promise Delivered is an AGA study of the planning, preparation and performance of the natural gas system during the 2013-14 Winter Heating Season. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year. Before last year’s extraordinary winter concluded, they were already preparing for this winter cycle.

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