- Prompt-month heating oil futures decreased 2.17% for the week ending Friday, 12/14, as prices fell $0.0409 per gallon.
- On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for delivery in January closed at $51.20 per barrel on Friday, 12/14, down 3.09% for the day, and down 2.68% for the week.
- Crude oil prices fell last week and continued to decline through Wednesday, settling at 14-month lows below $50 a barrel. Investors continue to display bearish sentiments despite a drop in domestic crude supplies of 1.2 million barrels and signs of slowing domestic production. The domestic oil rig count fell by 4 to 873 last week, the lowest point since mid-October, and production fell slightly from 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to 11.6 million bpd. Concerns about a global slowdown in economic growth have weighed on crude prices, as many fear economic turmoil between the U.S. and China will impact energy demand. With two weeks left in 2018, WTI crude prices remain down nearly 20% on the year and some 35% below the four-year highs of nearly $77 a barrel seen in early October.
- Prompt-month natural gas futures decreased $0.661 for the week ending Friday, 12/14, to settle at $3.827/Dth.
- Overall supply increased 0.2 Bcf from the previous week. Total demand also increased, rising by 13.2 Bcf.
- Natural gas exports in September 2018 were 301,869 million cubic feet, compared with 250,280 million cubic feet in September 2017. This is a 20.61% increase.
- Net withdrawals from storage totaled 77 Bcf, compared with the 5 year average net withdrawals of 79 Bcf and last year’s net withdrawal of 59 Bcf during the same week.
- Net withdrawals from storage were lower than expectations with a median forecast of 82 Bcf injected. Working gas stocks total 2,914 Bcf, coming in 723 Bcf less than the five-year average and 722 Bcf less than last year at this time.
- Average peak prices in NYC increased last week, moving up $3.66 to $54.29 per MWh. Peak prices hit a high of $99.02 between 5-6 PM last Wednesday, 12/12, in NYC; Average peak prices in PSE&G also increased, rising $1.82 to average $43.63 per MWh, and topping out at $69.22 on Monday, 12/10, between 5-6 PM.
- Around-the-clock prices for the balance of 2019 decreased $0.10 per MWh for NYC and decreased $0.72 per MWh in PSE&G. Calendar 2020 prices in NYC increased $0.21 per MWh, and PSEG prices decreased $0.06 per MWh.
- Temperatures averaged 0.07°F below historical figures this past week (ending 12/15), and came in 0.57°F above forecasted values. Highs for the week are expected to average around 46°F with lows averaging 37°F. Temperatures are forecasted to be 5.07°F warmer than seasonal averages, and 3.07°F above last week’s average.
- Temperatures will warm up slightly this week to come in above seasonal averages. Dry and sunny weather is expected for the majority of the week with some rain possible on Friday. Short term forecasts show above-average temperatures in most of the country with some average temperatures in the South. Longer term forecast models are predicting above-average to average temperatures in the western half of the U.S. with below-average temperatures in the East.