Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pacific Northwest Hydro Generation Poised to Overwhelm

Hydro output in Bonneville Power Admin has averaged 12GW this month, against last year's 10GW.

June output last year dropped off quickly, averaging below 9 GW.  This year could dwarf that, with river levels high and forecasts for demand low in the West.  Power will be moving south to California, and the little bit of gas fired burn that is still in the dispatch curve in CAISO will fade further unless heat moves in quickly.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Coal to Gas Switching in MISO Region Fades as Nuclear Reactors Return to Service

Weekday market share for natural gas has been strong over the last six weeks in MISO, but the single biggest factor driving that is nuclear capacity factor.  Nuke capacity factor has been well below the prior year for April and May, with average output around 200 GWHD this year, vs 280 last year.

As nukes ramp back up, gas should fade from the mix.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nuclear Power Output Begins Recovering, But Not Quickly

Nuclear power output rose to an 80.9% capacity factor today, but is running more than ten points below the prior year.  That equates to about 2 BCFD of natural gas replacement value.  This extreme differential should only persist for another two weeks or so, when the gap will begin to close with the end of maintenance season.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Haynesville Shale Production Turns Upward Again

The Louisiana state oil and gas reporting system shows well by well production, usually about 3-5 months lagging.  Based on the operators who have reported monthly production, February shows the first significant uptick in production after a long decline and plateau.  All the gains are in De Soto Parish, in fact.

With the rapid rise in working rigs, the Haynesville is likely to see gains for some time, perhaps returning to it's 7 BCFD glory next year if activity continues ramping up.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nuclear Power Capacity Factor Rising But Not Quickly

Nuclear power reactors are returning to service, but they will need to ramp up quickly starting tomorrow if they are to close the near 1 BCFE gap with May 2016:

MISO Natural Gas Power Burn Loses Ground to Coal

So far in May, gas is taking a 28-38% market share against coal's 62-72% of thermal generation.  Unfortunately the curve is steeper than last May also, so gas takes a lower share of lower load days, and load has been light.  To make matters a little worse, a temporary opportunity to increase thermal output due to nuclear outages will go away soon.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Another Giant Leap Forward for ERCOT Wind Power Generation

ERCOT released its Demand and Energy Report for April 2017 this week, and wind power posted another record, up 47% over last April, and within 25% of both Natural Gas and Coal in total generation.  It averaged about 9 GW for the month:

Meanwhile, natural gas lost market share to coal in ERCOT:

Monday, May 8, 2017

Texas Oil and Gas Well Permitting Activity Declines in April

Despite relentless increases in rig counts, Texas RRC reporting a decline in well permitting in April.

Combination Oil/Gas well permits declined from 893 in March to 576 in April.
Oil well permits declined from 284 to 223.
Gas well permits declined from 56 to 55.

Nuclear Power Output Lagging 2016 by 1 BCFE

As the maintenance and refueling season approaches an inflection point this week, output from reactors is currently about 1 BCF-gas-equivalent  below last year.  As the graph indicates, reactors were rapidly returning to service in May 2016.  The same directional trend is evident this year, month-to-date.