With "near-record injection activity" in the April 1 to Oct. 31 natural gas refill season, the U.S. natural gas inventory recovered from low levels at the end of the 2018-2019 heating season, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA estimates working natural gas in storage was 3,724 Bcf by Oct. 31, 16 percent greater than last year at this time.
The total amount of natural gas added between April and October is estimated to be 2,569 Bcf—"the second-highest net injected volume for the refill season ever reported, falling just short of the record level of 2,727 Bcf injected during the 2014 refill season," according to the EIA.
The storage season typically ends Oct. 31, although additions often continue into November.
Working natural gas in storage was 3,729 Bcf as of Nov. 1, the EIA said. This is a net increase of 34 Bcf compared with the previous week.
Henry Hub gas values tumbled 15 cents in trading to $2.84/MMBtu.
Western natural gas prices varied at the end of Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 trading. El Paso-San Juan Border added the most value, up 50 cents to $2.48/MMBtu. El Paso-Permian Basin natural gas lost the most, down 30 cents to $1.74/MMBtu.
Likewise, peak Western power prices varied. While South of Path 15 gained $10.65 to $34/MWh, Mid-Columbia daytime power prices fell $18.25 to end at $33.35/MWh.
Western nighttime power prices generally lost between $1.70 and as much as $16.70 in trading. Mid-C dropped the most value, down 38 percent or $16.70 to $27.65/MWh. Palo Verde was the exception, gaining $1.75 to $34/MWh. Prices ranged from $27.60/MWh at California-Oregon Border to $35.80/MWh at SP15 by Nov. 7.
California ISO's demand reached 28,951 MW Nov. 7; however, the week's high was forecast to be 29,940 MW Nov. 8.
In October, the average high peak price at Henry Hub was $2.65/MMBtu, 72 cents less than in 2018.
Western natural gas hub prices dropped between 12 cents and as much as $1.16 compared with the year prior. PG&E CityGate shed the most value, losing $1.16 year over year to reach $3.20/MMBtu in 2019.
Average Western power prices during the month varied in comparison with 2018. Northwest power prices had spiked in 2018 following natural gas import supply disruptions that pushed California-Oregon Border to a $110/MWh high and Mid-C to $109.20/MWh. In 2019, the daytime high price dropped by $59.25 and $54.90, respectively.
Other Western hubs added between 35 cents and $5.95 year over year. SP15 added the most, up $5.95 to $56.60/MWh.