Market Outlook

The best energy solutions emerge from many factors. A prime example is the energy market itself — something our team is well-versed in considering on your behalf. Here's an overview.

Natural Gas

NYMEX Natural Gas Pricing

The May 2022 contract settled at $7.267/MMBtu.

The June 2022 contract was trading around $8.38/MMBtu (as of publish date).

Source: CME Group

Natural Gas Storage

Current BCF in Storage (2022 vs 2021):

Week Ending Total BCF Week Ending Total BCF
01-Apr-22 1,382 02-Apr-21 1,784
08-Apr-22 1,397 09-Mar-21 1,845
15-Apr-22 1,450 16-Apr-21 1,883
22-Apr-22 1,490 23-Apr-21 1,898
29-Apr-22 1,567 30-Apr-21 1,958

There is about 20% less in underground storage now than there was at this time last year.

Source: EIA

Weather

6-10 Day

Visit the National Weather Service website to get the 6 to 10 day outlooks.

8-14 Day

Visit the National Weather Service website to get the 8 to 14 day outlooks.

Source:NOAA/ National Weather Service

Market News

Nearly all new U.S. crude oil and natural gas wells are horizontal or directional

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=52138

In 2021, horizontal and directional wells covered 81% of the total U.S. well completions; the other 19% of wells are vertical. The act of drilling a vertical well then bending the path of the drilling create  horizontal and directional wells.  Horizontal and directional wells are longer and that allows access to more geologic formations that contain crude oil and natural gas, which increases those wells’ productivity.

The United States ended the winter with the least natural gas in storage in three years

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=52058&src=email

Working natural gas in underground storage facilities in the Lower 48 states totaled 1,387 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the end of the winter season (March 31, 2022).  This is 17% lower than the previous five-year average.  In January 2022, heating degree days (a measure of how cold weather is) were 9% higher than the previous 10-year average.  This led to the excess withdrawals.  

U.S. Department of Commerce Investigation of Solar Panel Imports Puts Solar Projects at Risk

https://www.mcguirewoods.com/client-resources/Alerts/2022/4/us-department-commerce-investigation-solar-panel-imports-puts-solar-projects-risk

On March 28, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced an investigation of imported solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam in response to possible violations of anti-dumping rules.  This announcement has already impacted current and future solar developments using crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells (CSPV).  At this time, the DOC will consider supplementary tariffs on the solar industry based on the results of its investigation.  Additional tariffs (which could apply retroactively, to as early as Nov. 4, 2021) could disrupt supply and manufacturing.  Preliminary results of the investigation are expected in August 2022, with the anticipation of a final decision by Jan. 26, 2023.

MISO prepares for ‘worst-case scenarios,’ heads into summer with insufficient firm generation

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/miso-prepares-for-worst-case-scenarios-heads-into-summer-with-insufficie/622932/

In anticipation of a warmer than usual summer, MISO is predicting the system’s capacity will fall short of demand in both the north and central regions. The grid operator forecasts a peak July load at 124 GW and 118.5 GW of generation; a shortfall of 5.5 GW. This has caused capacity prices to increase almost 50 times from $5/MW to $236.66/MW. MISO expects that temporary, controlled outages may be necessary if worst-case demand conditions occur. June and August models also indicate capacity shortages, and training exercises are underway to prepare.   

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