Edition 3 – Thursday, September 27, 2018

September is nearly over as the first of two “shoulder” months end.  Natural gas prices have started to inch upward again with support provided by a weaker-than-expected gas storage volume today as published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

First, we examine some recently posted notices this week from the electronic bulletin boards of several interstate gas pipelines:

ANR Pipeline:

“Due to unplanned pipeline maintenance in the Southwest Area of Oklahoma, the capacity at Beaver-CIG will be reduced to the following:   70 MMcf/d from 9/26 – 10/31.   Based on current nominations to Beaver-CIG, it is anticipated that this posting will result in the capacity allocation reduction of Interruptible Transport volumes.”

Columbia Gas Transmission:

“The Gas Days of Saturday, September 29 through Sunday, September 30, 2018 will be deemed to be “Critical Days” for storage injections.

Based on forecasted markets, supplies, planned construction and maintenance, and forecasted Firm storage injection requirements, Transporter projects that all available storage injection capacity will be required to meet Firm service obligations. Transporter projects no availability of interruptible storage injection services.  Due pipe nominations will be scheduled to zero.  Storage withdrawal services are not impacted by this notice. ”

Florida Gas Transmission:

“FGT will be performing maintenance at FGT Compressor Station 7. This maintenance is scheduled to begin on October 1, 2018 and is to be completed by the end of gas day October 5, 2018. During this maintenance all three compressors at Station 7 will be unavailable. During this maintenance FGT will schedule up to approximately 300,000 MMBtu/day through Station 7. During normal operations FGT schedules up to 465,000 MMBtu/day through Station 7.”

SoCalGas:

“Storage levels are approaching their maximum inventories. As a result, the injection capacity will be 65 MMcfd starting October 1st. The entire injection capacity of 65 MMcfd will be reserved for system balancing and there will be no capacity available for injection nominations. For the remainder of September, SoCalGas will make 45 MMcfd available for injection nominations starting cycle 1.”

*****************************

In corporate business news involving the natural gas industry…

McDermott says it has received full notice to proceed from Entergy on a Montgomery County, Texas Power Station, a 993 MW combined-cycle natural gas power plant in Willis, Tex north of Houston.  The contract for engineering, procurement and construction work originally was awarded in early 2017, and the plant will help serve Entergy’s 455,000 customers in southeast Texas.

New Jersey gas and electric utility PSE&G proposed a $4 Billion investment to lower the state’s energy consumption and carbon emissions while driving down electric power costs.  The plan calls for spending $2.8 Billion on energy efficiency programs and hundreds of millions of dollars on electric vehicle infrastructure, energy storage and state-of-the-art electricity meters.

****************************

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Natural Gas Weekly Update:

Net storage injections totaled 46 billion cubic feet (Bcf) (vs. +64 Bcf consensus projections) for the week ending September 21.  Working natural gas stocks currently 20% lower than the year-ago level and 18% lower than the five-year average for this week.

Natural gas spot price movements were mixed this report week (Wednesday, September 19 to Wednesday, September 26).  On Wednesday, Henry Hub spot prices rose from $3.06 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) a week ago to close at $3.13/MMBtu yesterday.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the October 2018 contract expired Wednesday at $3.021/MMBtu.  Thursday’s November 2018 contract price closed at $3.056/MMBtu.

According to the EIA, the natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell by 48¢, averaging $10.37/MMBtu for the week ending September 26. The price of ethane and isobutane fell by 11%, propane fell by 1%, and the price of butane remained flat week over week.

According to Baker Hughes, the latest natural gas rig count remained flat at 186. Oil rigs fell by 1 to 866.  The total rig count now stands at 1,053.

***********************************

In the tropics, the National Hurricane Center said that Tropical Storm Kirk has formed again as it moves into the Caribbean Sea.  As of Thursday night, Kirk maintains a forward motion of 14 mph to the west-northwest and bears watching into next week.

From the National Weather Service,  below is the updated six-to-ten day extended temperature forecast into early October:

You’re up to date – for FREE!  Please tell a friend about GasNewsOnline.com.

Edition 2 – Monday, September 24, 2018

Welcome back to GasNewsOnline.com for Monday, September 24, 2018.

The summer gas season is officially in the books, and fall has finally arrived.  October promises another active month of pipeline maintenance projects in advance of the start of the five month winter heating season from November through March.

***********************

Let’s take a look at some of the latest public information from the interstate pipeline grid as posted by each pipeline’s electronic bulletin board:

First, let’s look to the west.  Despite overall U.S. gas storage levels significantly below the five year average, storage conditions are getting tighter in California.

PG&E posted this notice on Monday:

“Pipeline balancing services are provided on California Gas Transmission‘s system by an allocated 4.040 Bcf of storage inventory, 75 MMcf/d of injection capacity, and 75 MMcf/d of withdrawal capacity. The current inventory of Imbalance Gas in Storage can be found on the Pipe Ranger Operations page.

Recent over-deliveries by suppliers have increased Imbalance Gas in Storage to a level that has reached the upper limit of 4.040 Bcf. As such, pipeline balancing injection will not be available.

Without the ability to inject for balancing, the likelihood of high inventory OFOs increases.”

*************************

Moving to the east coast, operating conditions on some gas pipelines are also tightening as a result of dwindling daily electric loads with the advent of cooler fall temperatures and limited pipeline flexibility to handle excess gas supplies.  Both Algonquin Gas Transmission and Texas Eastern Transmission posted Operational Flow Orders until further notice warning shippers in the northeastern U.S. market regions to keep daily gas supplies and delivery volumes in balance or face significant financial penalties.

Here is the Texas Eastern posting effective Monday:

“In order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, TE is issuing an Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 4.3 of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00AM CCT Monday, September 24, 2018 to all parties, with the exception of those governed by a FERC gas tariff, in Texas Eastern’s Market Area Zones M2-30 and M3.

This OFO does not affect the ability of TE to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer or pipeline.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or greater than scheduled deliveries out of the system. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that are less than scheduled quantities minus 2,000 Dth or 98% of scheduled delivery quantities.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual receipts of gas into the system must be equal to or less than scheduled receipts into the system. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual receipt quantities that exceeds scheduled quantities plus 2,000 Dth or 102% of scheduled receipt quantities.

The penalty will be equal to three times the daily Platts Gas Daily “Daily Price Survey” posting for the High Common price for the geographical region, as defined in Section 8.5(a) of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff for the day on which such violation occurred. In addition, TE will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

TE may be required to issue an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 4.3(H) to impose further restrictions in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system.

TE will inform customers via EBB when this OFO will be lifted.”

********************************

In northeastern Texas along Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America‘s Gulf Coast leg in the Texok area, the company has extended at-risk operating conditions for another few weeks:

“On gas day Monday, July 9, 2018, and continuing through gas day Wednesday, October 10, 2018, (previously Wednesday, September 24, 2018), Natural will be performing pipeline maintenance to install pigging facilities on the Gulf Coast #2 mainline near Compressor Station 304, located in Harrison County, Texas (Segment 26 of Natural’s Texok Zone).  AOR/ITS and Secondary out-of-path Firm transports may not be available during this work.  Primary Firm and Secondary in-path Firm transports may also be at risk of not being fully scheduled.”

******************************

Below is an update from Monday’s publicly released corporate news involving the natural gas business:

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline announced Monday that it has increased its overall project cost estimate to $4.6 billion. Much of the cost increase is due to extended periods of work stoppage during August that triggered contractual charges and schedule changes.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cleared Mountain Valley Pipeline (a joint venture to be operated by Equitable Midstream) to restart full construction on August 29 with 50% of this new 300-mile pipeline (which will transport up to 2 Bcf/d of Marcellus shale gas through West Virginia into a new interconnect with Transco’s Zone 5 in southern Virginia) expected to be completed by year-end.  The remainder of the pipeline system is expected to be completed next year and come online during the fourth quarter of 2019.

  • Late Monday, CenterPoint Energy initiated a public offering for up to $1.5 Billion worth of new common stock shares along with 15 million depositary shares (preferred stock which will convert into common stock shares on or about September, 2021).  Centerpoint plans to use the proceeds to finance part of the cash consideration for its pending merger with Vectren, a gas and electric utility company serving much of Indiana and portions of the state of Ohio.
  • Dominion Energy announced the sale of its interests in three non-core electric generation assets in two separate transactions for $1.32 Billion.

Dominion is selling the Fairless Power Station, a gas turbine generating facility in Pennsylvania; the Manchester Street Power Station, a 468 MW combined-cycle gas turbine in Rhode Island; and its 25% stake in Catalyst Old River Hydroelectric, a 192 MW hydroelectric generating station in Vidalia, Louisiana.

The company said that it is still evaluating a possible sale of its 50% interest in the Blue Racer Midstream joint venture, a liquids-rich gas pipeline system serving the Utica shale and portions of the Marcellus area.

*****************************

In other gas market news

On the NYMEX Monday, the October, 2018 natural gas futures price closed the day up 6.1 cents to finish above $3 at nearly $3.04 per MMBtu.  Though the upcoming winter months’ gas pricing through February all closed above $3, the natural gas outlook for the 2019 spring and summer seasons continued to show weakness as the forward price remained in the $2.60-$2.70 range.

*****************************

From the National Hurricane Center, forecasters are keeping their eye on the U.S. southeast coast (again) as another possible tropical system has been given a 50% chance of forming this week.  Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Storm Kirk continue to bear watching into next week as the NHC is forecasting a 50% chance of redevelopment as this tropical wave moves toward the Caribbean Sea at a rapid 25 mph forward speed Monday evening.

The National Weather Service has updated the extended temperature outlook for the next 6-10 day period into early October.  Nighttime low temperatures in the northern plains states will drop into the 30’s (up to ten degrees below average) on or before October 1.

You’re up to date in the natural gas business – for free!

Thank you for reading the new GasNewsOnline.com.  Please tell a friend!

 

 

Edition 1 – Friday, September 21, 2018

Edition #1 – GasNewsOnline.com – Friday, September 21, 2018

We bring you the latest news and information about the natural gas business from a variety of public information sources to help keep you informed.  FREE!

*****************************

From a review of the interstate gas pipeline electronic bulletin boards:

Along the east coast, Columbia Gas Transmission posted the following notice for this weekend:

“The gas days of Saturday, September 22 through Monday, September 24, 2018 will be deemed to be “Critical Days” for storage injections.

Based on forecasted markets, supplies, planned construction and maintenance, and forecasted Firm storage injection requirements, Transporter projects that all available storage injection capacity will be required to meet Firm service obligations. Transporter projects no availability of interruptible storage injection services.  Due pipe nominations will be scheduled to zero.  Storage withdrawal services are not impacted by this notice.”

************************

In the Midcontinent region, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America had some good news for shippers effective today (Friday, September 21) in the MidContinent Zone along the Amarillo line:

“Natural has completed the repair work on the Amarillo #3 mainline at Compressor Station 104 (CS 104) located in Barton County, Kansas (Segment 11 of Natural’s Midcontinent Zone), earlier than anticipated.  Therefore, effective for gas day Friday, September 21, 2018, Intraday 1 Cycle and continuing thereafter, all transport scheduling will resume to normal operations through Compressor Station 104 (the scheduling constraint).   Please refer to the November 11, 2017, posting entitled “SEGMENT 11 – AT CAPACITY – PRIMARY ONLY”, as this notice remains in effect.”

*************************

Out west, Dominion-Questar posted information about an upcoming test at its Clay Basin storage location:

“Dominion Energy Questar Pipeline has scheduled the Clay Basin Injection test for gas days October 6-17, 2018. Key dates are as follows:

Monday, September 24, 2018: OFO letters issued to all FSS holders for gas days October 9 and 10 injection requirements.
Saturday, October 6, 2018 to Monday, October 8, 2018: Reservoir conditioning. Field on physical injection only. No withdrawal nominations will be accepted. Transfer nominations will be accepted. Tuesday, October 9, 2018: Based on the OFO requirements, constant 210 mmcf/d (220 mdth/d) injection rate to ensure all wells are open and flowing. No withdrawal nominations accepted. Transfer nominations will be accepted.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018: Based on the OFO requirements, constant 260 mmcf/d (272 mdth/d) injection rate. No withdrawal nominations accepted. Transfer nominations will be accepted.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 to Wednesday, October 17, 2018: Reservoir shut-in. Only transfer nominations accepted.

Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Return to normal service.”

***************************

Below are some of the headlines published in the Thursday, September 20 edition of the US Energy Information Administration’s “Natural Gas Weekly:

  • Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations this report week (Wednesday, September 12 to Wednesday, September 19). Henry Hub spot prices rose from $2.93 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last week to $3.06/MMBtu Wednesday the 19th.
  • At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the October 2018 contract price rose 8¢ from $2.829/MMBtu last week to $2.908/MMBtu this Wednesday.
  • Net injections to working gas totaled 86 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending September 14. Working natural gas stocks are 2,722 Bcf, which is 20% lower than the year-ago level and 18% lower than the five-year (2013–17) average for this week.
  • The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 44¢, averaging $10.85/MMBtu for the week ending September 19. The price of ethane rose by 15%; the price of propane, butane, and isobutene each rose by 1%. The price of natural gasoline remained flat week over week.
  • According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, September 11, the natural gas rig count remained flat at 186. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 7 to 867. The total rig count increased by 7, and it now stands at 1,055.

****************************

In corporate news releases this week from around the natural gas industry:

A NiSource affiliate, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, says it is withdrawing a proposed rate increase for consumers by $33.2 Million in the wake of the recent gas explosions and fires in three towns north of the Boston area.

Williams Cos. says its Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project has achieved completion, and 1.7 Bcf/day of capacity is ready to be placed in service pending final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  This nearly $3B expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline will connect Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic, including the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland, and the southeastern U.S.  The project includes about 200 miles of new large diameter pipeline, two compressor stations and several compressor station modifications in five states.

Sempra Energy’s SoCalGas says it will soon start using natural gas for its truck fleet at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory plus six fueling stations in the San Diego area. The state provides incentive funding to convert truck fleets to natural gas as their primary fuel.

*******************************

Finally, here’s a look at the extended weather forecasts from the US National Weather Service: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

First, below is the six-to-ten day forecast to the end of September:

Next, here is the 30-day outlook into the middle portion of October:

Thank you for reading the first edition of GasNewsOnline.com!  Please tell a friend!