Bulls Rule. Energy Prices Increased For the Third Consecutive Week
Week in review for period of March 25- 31, 2011
Energy prices rose for the third consecutive week. For this report period, natural gas prices rose 2% and electricity prices rose 1%. Crude oil prices rose 2%, closing at $107/barrel. There were numerous variables that placed upward pressure on prices this week. For starters, the unrest in the oil rich Middle East continues to place upward pressure on oil prices which placed some upward pressure on natural gas and electricity prices. Additionally, Accuweather announced on Thursday that they were expecting an above average Atlantic hurricane season in 2011. Just saying the word "hurricane" seems to spook the energy markets because many of our well-heads operate offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Lastly, it was reported that the economy may be on the road to recovery as unemployment dropped to a two year low of 8.8%. An improving economy leads to higher energy demand which then places upward pressure on energy prices.
Based on all the "bullish" news we heard this past week, perhaps we are lucky that energy prices only rose 1% - 2% this week. Natural gas and electricity prices are still near a seven-year low but the trend line is up.
WGES helps customers meet the D.C. Green Power Community Challenge.
On March 18th, the District of Columbia was recognized as the nation's leading EPA Green Power Community. District government, businesses, institutions, and residents are collectively purchasing nearly 756 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually – enough green power to meet eight percent of the community's total electricity use.
As a first step in becoming a Green Power Community, the D.C. government began purchasing 50% CleanStepsSM WindPower from WGES for its municipal operations in 2010. The DowntownDC Business Improvement District is one of a number of partners in the Green Power Community that recently partnered with WGES to purchase 100% CleanStepsSM WindPower at its headquarters facility on New York Avenue in Northwest, D.C.
District leaders are encouraging residents, businesses and organizations citywide to make the switch to green power, challenging the city to increase green power purchases by 33% by August 31. Green Power Communities are cities, towns, and villages where the local government, businesses, and residents all commit to buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements.
The combined green power purchasing of residents and organizations in D.C. is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 102,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the electricity needed to power 65,000 average American homes annually.
To learn how your business can participate in D.C.’s Green Power Community Challenge, contact your Account Manager or call (703) 793-7348. Also, view the video below, featuring interviews with D.C. officials, residents, business owners, and WGES President Harry Warren.
Video courtesy of the District of Columbia Department of the Environment.
EIA Gas Storage Update - Data Released March 31, 2011
Total Lower 48
Storage Update: The traditional withdrawal season occurs between November 1, and March 31. Thus the analysts were not expecting such a large injection for this report period. The net injection was 12 Bcf. The five year average withdrawal for this time of year was 22 Bcf. Even with this injection, inventories stayed 1% below last year's levels. However, we were 3.6 % above the 5 year average. The traditional withdrawal season ended March 31, 2011.
Weekly Drilling Rig Update: Active rig count released by Baker and Hughes for the week ending 3/25/11 was 880 rigs. This was an increase of 5 rigs from the previous week. This was the first rig increase in the last five weeks. The count is 61 rigs lower than the count reported this same week last year. We are 28% below the 5 year average rig count of 1,221.
* Heating degree days are calculated by comparing the day’s average temperature to a 65 degree baseline. If the day’s average temperature is above 65, there are no heating degree days that day. If the day’s average temperature is less than 65 degrees, subtract the day’s average temperature from 65 to find the number of heating degree days for that day.
PJM stands for Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland Interconnection LLC (Mid-Atlantic region power pool).
PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, an area that includes more than 51 million people. As of December 31, 2009, it had installed generating capacity of 167,326 megawatts (GW) and over 500 market buyers, sellers and traders of electricity. In 2009 demand peaked at 126.8 MW on August 10, the lowest annual peak since the last transmission integration.
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