- Prompt-month heating oil futures decreased 3.74% for the week ending Friday, 12/28, as prices fell $0.0645 per gallon.
- On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for delivery in January closed at $45.33 per barrel on Friday, 12/28, down 0.24% for the day, and down 0.57% for the week.
- Crude oil remained nearly flat last week but increased about 2% on Wednesday, trading above $46 a barrel. This week prices have responded to reports from Saudi Arabia showing an intentional curtailment of their oil shipments to the United States and China last month. Crude exports from Saudi Arabia fell half a million barrels to 7.253 million barrels a day in December. Many investors expect continued volatility in the market as OPEC’s production cuts try to balance out decreasing demand caused by a global economic slowdown. The oil cartel announced that they were planning an extraordinary meeting in April with plans to apply more upward pressure on the market, potentially via additional production cuts. The domestic oil rig count increased by 2 to 885 last week. Investors will seek further cues from weekly U.S. crude inventory data which is set to be released on Friday. WTI crude ended 2018 down 25% and Brent crude ended down 20%.
- Prompt-month natural gas futures decreased $0.447 for the week ending Friday, 12/28, to settle at $3.303/Dth.
- Overall supply decreased 0.6 Bcf from the previous week. Total demand also decreased, falling by 16.4 Bcf.
- Natural gas exports in October 2018 were 305,603 million cubic feet, compared with 281,359 million cubic feet in October 2017. This is an 8.62% increase.
- Net withdrawals from storage totaled 141 Bcf, compared with the 5 year average net withdrawals of 144 Bcf and last year’s net withdrawals of 166 Bcf during the same week.
- Net withdrawals from storage were higher than expectations with a median forecast of 137 Bcf injected. Working gas stocks total 2,773 Bcf, coming in 720 Bcf less than the five-year average and 697 Bcf less than last year at this time.
- Average peak prices in NYC decreased last week, moving down $4.93 to $36.07 per MWh. Peak prices hit a high of $56.26 between 5-6 PM last Wednesday, 12/26, in NYC; Average peak prices in PSE&G also decreased, falling $11.40 to average $28.23 per MWh, and topping out at $39.05 on Wednesday, 12/26, between 5-6 PM.
- Around-the-clock prices for the balance of 2019 decreased $2.90 per MWh for NYC and decreased $3.61 per MWh in PSE&G. Calendar 2020 prices in NYC decreased $1.09 per MWh, and PSEG prices decreased $0.17 per MWh.
- Temperatures averaged 7.36°F above historical figures this past week (ending 12/29), and came in 1.14°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 8.29°F warmer than seasonal averages, and 0.36°F below last week’s average.
- Temperatures will be similar to the previous week, remaining well above seasonal averages. Dry and sunny weather is expected for the remainder of the week with some rain possible on Saturday. Short term forecasts show above-average temperatures for most of the East and Midwest, with some below average temperatures in the Southwest. 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.