Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices increased between $3-13/MWh at all hubs. Generation outages and the lingering heat in the West drove prices at the Palo Verde and SP 15 hubs up by more than $10/MWh. Higher spot gas and hot temperatures also sent the Entergy, PJM West and ERCOT hubs up by more than $7/MWh. Peak prices at all the hubs last week were higher then the averages for the last four weeks and last 52 weeks (see pages 1 and 3).For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.
Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose from $6.26/MMBtu to $6.54/MMBtu. Tropical storm fears and an increase in demand due to warmer than normal temperatures contributed to the increase in gas prices at the Henry Hub (see pages 1 and 3).
Nuclear plant capacity availability averaged 85 percent last week. Three reactors began refueling outages last week while two began maintenance (see pages 2 and 4).
Cushing OK WTI oil prices fell $0.55 to $81.70/barrel two weeks ago. Continued low surplus production capacity, weak petroleum inventories, and strong demand worldwide have all contributed to recent high crude oil prices (EIA’s STEO, see pages 1 and 3).
According to NOAA’s most recent projection of heating degree-days, winter in the lower- 48 States is forecasted to be 4 percent colder compared with last winter but 2 percent warmer than the 30-year average (1971 to 2000). Average winter-season (October 1 to March 31) prices and expenditures for all space-heating fuels are projected to be higher than winter 2006-2007. Cooling degree-days this summer were 12 percent higher than normal and slightly higher than last summer. For the entire year of 2007, total electricity consumption is expected to grow about 2.4 percent, primarily due to a surge in electricity consumption in the first quarter (EIA’s STEO, see pages 2 and 5).