The Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility is at its full authorized capacity and California natural gas prices appeared to respond, with prices softening in trading.
The storage facility near Los Angeles on June 19, reached 34 Bcf, the maximum allowed by the California Public Utilities Commission. By June 23, the total working natural gas inventory was roughly 62.3 Bcf. The total regional working natural gas capacity is 83 Bcf, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
PG&E CityGate natural gas fell 18 cents to $2.30/MMBtu in June 20 to June 27 trading and SoCal Border natural gas lost 9 cents to $1.62/MMBtu. SoCal CityGate natural gas dropped 6 cents, ending at $1.77/MMBtu.
Also, Southern California Gas Co. pushed back the estimated return to service date for Line 235-2 yet again.
In a June 19 pipeline status report, the utility said the line might be back in service by July 29. Once it is returned to service, it will be inspected yet again. Line 235-2 has been out of service since Oct. 1, 2017. In continuing to restore the line to full pressure, additional leaks have been found in remote locations.
Line 4000 work is set to begin once Line 235-2 is back in service; however, no progress was reported on repairs to Line 3000.
By the end of June 20–27 trading, Western peak power prices made nominal gains of between 5 cents and roughly $2. Palo Verde gained the most, adding $2.25 to end at $21.25/MWh.
Western nighttime prices varied. Those gaining value added roughly $2, with Mid-Columbia gaining the most, up $2.05 to $16.40/MWh. Both California-Oregon Border and Palo Verde shed 50 cents each.
California Independent System Operator demand reached 33,298 MW June 24, which should be the week’s high.
Total renewables on the CAISO grid reached 16,708 MW June 21, supplying almost 58 percent of demand.
Other Western natural gas prices were a jumble at the end of Thursday-to-Thursday trading. Alberta natural gas posted the greatest increase, up 71 cents to 76 cents/MMBtu. El Paso-Permian Basin dropped 38 cents to 4 cents/MMBtu.
Henry Hub gas spot prices eroded 2 cents, ending at $2.30/MMBtu.
Working natural gas in storage was 2,301 Bcf as of June 21, according to U.S. EIA estimates. This is a net increase of 98 Bcf compared to the previous week.
National natural gas usage increased 4 percent week-over-week, according to the agency. Natural gas for power generation also increased, rising 8 percent compared to the previous week.
Although Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station began ramping up in the early morning hours of June 21, output from the 1,207-MW nuclear facility has seen some fluctuations since then, due to post-refueling testing. The plant is currently fully operational.