Skip to main content

NEI's Energy Markets Report - February 18-February 22, 2008

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices increased $3-9/MWh at all hubs except NEPOOL. The NEPOOL hub decreased $1/MWh (Platts, see pages 1 and 3).

Estimated nuclear plant availability rose to 93 percent last week. Grand Gulf 1 was the only unit to shut down last week (see pages 2 and 4).

Uranium prices were $75 and $73/lb U3O8 according to TradeTech and UxConsulting (see pages 1 and 3).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub increased $0.49 to $8.83/MMBtu due to frigid temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast. Henry Hub gas futures for one-month, six-month, and twelve-months ahead traded at or above $9/MMBtu. Low imports of liquefied natural gas to the lower 48 states are a factor in the recent increase in gas prices. LNG imports have averaged less than 1 Bcf per day this winter compared to more than 3 Bcf at times last summer. The EIA reports that the reduction in U.S. LNG imports reflects changes in LNG supply and demand across the world. For example, Japan, which is the largest importer of LNG in the world, last year experienced a massive earthquake that resulted in the shutdown of seven nuclear reactors. As a result, Japan is now relying more on LNG as a fuel for electric power generation. Some countries in Asia and Europe rely on LNG imports as a primary source of natural gas, resulting in a willingness at times to pay prices exceeding those in U.S. markets in order to have LNG cargos diverted to meet their demand requirements (EIA, see pages 1, 2 and 3).

Crude oil prices increased $5.05 from the previous week to $94.13/barrel. Crude oil futures for March 2008 traded $6 higher than last week at $100.38/barrel. EIA has claimed the high prices of crude oil are due to supply and demand fundamentals. However, other analysts suggest that $30 to $40 of the current market price for a barrel of oil is a result of speculative investing from banks and hedge funds (see pages 1 and 3).
For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Are you sure your not forgetting about a plant that's close to the D.C. area that is also shut down, like Calvert Cliffs 1 :)
David Bradish said…
It looks like I forgot to mention it.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …