Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices increased $2-9/MWh at the Eastern hubs and decreased $3-5/MWh at the Western hubs (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 $6.81/MMBtu to $6.90/MMBtu. Working gas in storage reached a record level for the second week in a row with 3,545 Bcf as of Friday, November 2. Factors contributing to the large volume in storage include improved supply and favorable economics. The 3,545 Bcf is 8.9 percent above the 5-year average inventory level for the report week (EIA, see pages 1 and 3).
By 2011, the following amounts of new generating capacity are expected to start up: 29,000 MW of coal; 47,000 MW of natural gas; and 37,000 MW of wind (see page 5).
Estimated nuclear plant availability remained at 83 percent last week. Two reactors finished refueling outages while four reactors shut down for maintenance (see pages 2 and 4).
Uranium spot prices were $93 and $92/lb U3O8 according to TradeTech and UxConsulting. UxC noted that the current uranium spot price is more than high enough to spur additional investment in uranium production. They also projected uranium prices to begin moderating due to increased uranium supplies coming to the markets over the next five years (see pages 1 and 3).
Crude oil prices continued to increase to $93.46/barrel. Crude oil futures were trading above $90/barrel for November 2008. EIA says one of the reasons for high oil prices is strong economic growth from China, the United States, and the Middle East. China and the United States alone are projected to account for half of the world oil consumption growth in 2007 and 2008 (see pages 1, 2 and 3).