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NEI's Energy Markets Report, July 30 - August 3, 2007

I'm sure some of the readers here have noticed that the markets report hasn't been posted to NEI's blog for several months. The reason for this was that we stopped updating materials on our old public website to work and prepare the launch of the new website. While we were in the transition phase to the new website, we also took the time to redesign the report to give it a brand new look. Check it out below.

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:

According to the August 7 edition of EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook, the run-up in crude oil prices in the past two months (below $65 on NYMEX in mid-May and above $76 in early August) is the result of increasingly tighter world oil markets.

EIA expects the spot price of natural gas at the Henry Hub to average $7.45 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in 2007, a $0.52-per-mcf increase from the 2006 average.

EIA assumes that lower temperatures during 3Q2007 compared to last year will keep electricity consumption growing at a relatively normal rate of 1.9 percent in 2007 (see pages 2 and 5), despite high heating-related demand earlier this year.

By 2011, the following amounts of new generating capacity are expected to start up: 33,000 MW of coal; 46,000 MW of natural gas; and 27,000 MW of wind (see page 5).

UxConsulting’s and TradeTech’s uranium spot prices fell to $110/lb U3O8 and $120/lb U3O8 (see pages 1 and 3).

India and the U.S. concluded a landmark Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. According to UxC, three hurdles remain until the negotiation is finalized: India must negotiate and conclude safeguards with IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Groups must unanimously approve a waiver to guidelines which prohibit trade with India, and the U.S. Congress will have to formally consider the agreement.

The U.S. nuclear plant availability factor averaged 99% for the week. Columbia was operating at 15% for repairs to a main transformer that is experiencing a “hot spot” (see pages 2 and 4).

Electricity peak prices all increased except for Palo Verde last week. Lingering heat in the East caused prices to increase more than $14/MWh at the Entergy, NEPOOL and PJM West hubs (see pages 1 and 3).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub increased $0.21 to $6.16/MMBtu (see pages 1 and 3). According to EIA, the increase in spot gas prices could be attributed to reports of tropical storm activity and the return of seasonal weather in market areas.

For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage. Enjoy!

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