Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices changed very little at all hubs except for ERCOT. ERCOT decreased about $18/MWh due to warmer temperatures and weaker spot gas in the region. The ERCOT hub electricity prices ranged from $28-73/MWh (Platts, 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 increased $0.41 to $9.76/MMBtu. Low LNG imports and a significant winter storm in the Midwest contributed upward pressure on gas prices. LNG imports so far this month are about 44 percent below the level of last year. The winter snow storm that buried the Ohio Valley added to gas prices in consuming areas in the Northeast and Midwest. Storage levels as of March 7 were still 4.3 percent above the 5-year average, despite the continuing relatively large withdrawals from storage in the past several weeks (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).
Estimated nuclear plant availability remained at 88 percent last week. Calvert Cliffs 1 and Hatch 1 both finished their refueling outages. Hatch 1 made it to 14 percent power before it had to shut back down. Salem 2 began a refueling outage (NRC, see pages 2 and 4).
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased $2.60 from the previous week to $103.44/barrel. Gasoline prices rose in all regions of the country, with the U.S. average retail price reaching its highest point in history, $3.23 per gallon. That was an increase of 6.3 cents from the previous week and 66.6 cents more than the price a year ago (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).
Uranium prices remained at $74/lb U3O8 according to TradeTech and UxConsulting. According to UxC, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Policy Statement on March 12, 2008 that outlines a general framework within which it will manage its surplus uranium inventories, including decisions regarding future uses of its inventory. These inventories include depleted, natural and highly-enriched uranium located at DOE sites across the United States and total approximately 59,000 metric tons of natural uranium equivalent (see pages 1 and 3).