Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices moved modestly last week (see pages 1 and 3).For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.
Total electricity consumption for 2007 is projected to average 10.7 billion kilowatthours per day, 2.1 percent above last year’s consumption (EIA STEO, see pages 2 and 5).
Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose from $6.55/MMBtu to $6.81/MMBtu. Colder weather is considered the cause for increasing gas prices for the week (EIA, see pages 1 and 3). A new report from EIA stated that U.S. natural gas proved reserves increased 3 percent in 2006, rising to over 211 trillion cubic feet, the highest level since 1976.
Estimated nuclear plant availability remained at 83 percent last week with three more reactors beginning refueling outages. FitzPatrick was down briefly due to algae accumulating at the plant’s cooling water intake (see pages 2 and 4).
Uranium spot prices rose to $93 and $90/lb U3O8 according to TradeTech and UxConsulting. TradeTech noted that the majority of sellers expect spot uranium prices to strengthen over the next few months and are very hesitant to commit to sales at this time (see pages 1 and 3).
Crude oil prices continued to increase to $89.23/barrel last week. WTI prices are projected to increase from an average of $66.02 per barrel in 2006 to $71.36 per barrel in 2007 and to nearly $80 per barrel in 2008. Slower U.S. economic growth of 1.9 percent, projected for both 2007 and 2008, compared with 2.9 percent in 2006, may be a mitigating factor for even higher crude prices. (EIA STEO, see pages 1 and 3).