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Facts of the Day are informational snippets gathered from industry leading sources around the web pertaining to the energy industry.

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Natural Gas

EIA: Marcellus gas production continues to outpace takeaway capacity

5/6/14 | Oil & Gas Journal

Rising production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale play in the Appalachian basin continues to outpace the growth in the region's pipeline takeaway capacity, which has led to supply backups in the region, the US Energy Information Administration reported in a weekly gas report.

EIA noted that this phenomenon has also "contributed to a number of natural gas wells in Marcellus remaining backlogged, with a Feb. 28 report from Barclay's estimating that more than 1,300 wells there are drilled but not completed."

EIA noted that several proposed and recently completed projects will provide additional pipeline infrastructure to relieve some of the Marcellus supply glut.

EIA: Marcellus gas production backlog spurs pipes heading south as well as north

4/28/14 | PennEnergy

Marcellus gas production backlog spurs pipes heading south as well as northIncreasing natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin's Marcellus Shale play continues to outpace the growth in the region's pipeline takeaway capacity. This has led to supply backups in the Marcellus region, with new production often unable to flow to areas where gas is in high demand, placing downward pressure on prices in the region. It has also contributed to a number of natural gas wells in Marcellus remaining backlogged, with a February 28 report from Barclay's estimating that more that 1,300 wells there are drilled but not completed. Natural gas prices at Leidy Hub in central Pennsylvania have continued to trade significantly below the Henry Hub national benchmark spot price. This winter, the Leidy spot price averaged $3.55 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), $1.08/MMBtu below Henry Hub, and lower than the average spot price at any other major U.S. natural gas hub.

EIA: US gas output to beat 2013 record

3/12/14 | Upstream

The US Energy Information Administration on Tuesday raised its estimate for US natural gas production in 2014 to 2.5% over 2013's record-high level, due primarily to higher output from shale plays in the Lower 48 states, according to a report. This would be the fourth straight annual record.

EIA said it expects the Henry Hub gas spot price, which averaged $3.73 per million British thermal units in 2013, will average $4.44 per mmBtu in 2014, an increase of 28 cents from the 2014 projection in last month's energy outlook. EIA noted Henry Hub spot prices were volatile over the past two months with prices up from $3.95 per mmBtu on 10 January to a high of $8.15 on 10 February, before falling back to $4.61 on 27 February and bouncing back up to $7.98 on 4 March.

Northeast's Record Natural Gas Prices Due to Pipeline Dearth

2/10/14 | Bloomberg

Temperatures in New York City hit 7F on Jan. 22, a day after the price to deliver natural gas into the city spiked to a record $123 per thousand cubic feet on the spot market. A hundred miles away in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, the biggest natural gas field in the U.S., the same amount of gas costs 35 times less. The problem is particularly severe in New England, where power plants' use of natural gas has jumped from 30 percent of electricity produced to 52 percent since 2001, with not a single new pipeline built. As a result, electricity prices are soaring in the region.

U.S. Energy Secretary Plans To Review New England's Natural Gas Shortage

2/3/14 | The Hartford Courant

The head of the U.S. Department of Energy is calling for a review of New England's natural gas shortage, which has led to higher electricity prices and concerns that the region's electric grid is overly dependent on the fuel.

Secretary Ernest J. Moniz said in a letter to New England senators that the issue of tight natural gas supplies will be one of the first raised in a broad federal review of the country's energy system, which President Barack Obama requested earlier this month.

Natural gas breaks $5 mark on winter demand

1/27/14 | Fuel Fix

The price of natural gas for future delivery has not closed above $5 per million British thermal units since June 2010, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas prices were below $4 for most of the last two years.

The price jump, up as much as 19 percent from a week ago, will offer a boost in revenue for some natural gas producers, but it is not likely to last, said Mark Hanson, an analyst for investment research firm Morningstar. Although contracts to deliver natural gas next month are currenlty worth as much as 25 percent more than in December, companies won't get much benefit from what is expected to be a short-lived spike in prices, Hanson said.

Northeastern Winter Natural Gas and Electricity Alert

1/8/14 | EIA

Natural gas prices: Prices traded Monday for delivery Tuesday near $40/MMBtu in both New England and NYC. Natural gas at Tetco-M3 in Pennsylvania and Transco Zone 6 Non-New York were higher still, indicating some reduced demand for natural gas as electric power plants switch to burning oil in New York and New England.

Electricity prices: Day-ahead electricity prices are more than $200/MWh in both New York and New England. Power prices in New England were elevated throughout the previous week as cold weather and high natural gas prices led to triple-digit power prices in the day-ahead market.

Natural gas spot prices to reach $5/MMBtu after 2020, report says

12/23/13 | Power Engineering

The real Henry Hub average natural gas price is expected to be more than $5/MMBtu after 2020 and reach more than $6/MMBtu by 2035, according to an outlook by Navigant. In Navigant's latest outlook, North American Natural Gas Market Outlook, Fall 2013, North American consumer natural gas demand is expected to increase from 77.8 Bcfd in 2013 to 108.7 Bcfd in 2035. Exports of liquid natural gas are expected to increase in North America to 7.8 Bcfd by 2022.

EIA: Natural gas generation to overtake coal by 2035

12/18/13 | EIA

Natural gas-fired power plant will produce more power than coal-fired plants by about 2035, according to the Energy Information Agency's (EIA) preliminary version of its annual energy outlook report. Natural gas will account for 35% of total electric generation, while coal will account for 32% in 2040, the report said.

Cold boosts U.S. Northeast natgas prices to 10-month highs

12/11/13 | Reuters

Cold, wintry weather in the U.S. Northeast lifted regional natural gas prices to their highest levels since last winter, traders said on Tuesday.

Gas on the Algonquin natural gas system in New England E-ALGCIT-IDX also rose more than $3 to an average near $21. Last winter Algonquin prices topped out at over $34 during a cold spell in late January, data showed. The gains came despite new pipeline capacity that began service in the Northeast in early November, bringing previously stranded gas from the Marcellus Shale to market. Traders had expected the new supply to help temper volatility in regional gas prices this year.

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Northeast relying less on Gulf natural gas supply

12/2/13 | Associated Press

The amount of natural gas extracted from the Gulf of Mexico and sent to the Northeast has dropped sharply in recent years as new discoveries in that region boost the nation's overall supply, according to new federal data.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the quantity of natural gas shipped via pipeline from Southeastern states to the Northeast has dropped 56 percent since 2008, from 7.9 billion cubic feet per day to 3.5 billion.

Rethinking rig count as a predictor of natural gas production

10/28/13 | EIA

In the past, the number of gas-oriented drilling rigs in a particular region has been a common metric for estimating the production of natural gas. However, technological advances have led the way to the widespread use of new oil and natural gas extraction techniques that have opened up a hydrocarbon resource base dramatically larger than previous estimates. Because of these new methods of extraction, generally in wide use since 2007, natural gas production has steadily risen, while the number of active rigs characterized as targeting natural gas has fallen dramatically.

US set to be top oil, gas producer in 2013: EIA

10/7/13 | Energy Global

The United States could push past Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's largest single producer of oil and of natural gas this year. While the US was roughly even with Russia as the top producer in 2012 of the two hydrocarbon fuels combined, it still lagged the longtime leader Saudi Arabia as an oil producer.

But helped by the boom in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, production from shale deposits, the US will surpass the Saudis in oil in 2013, making it the world leader in each fuel, the US Energy Information Administration said.

Pa. PUC To Investigate Retail Natural Gas Market

9/16/13 | Law 360

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday unanimously agreed to launch an investigation into the state's retail natural gas market, aiming to boost the number of customers purchasing gas from competitive suppliers.

While 2 million customers currently participate in the state's retail electricity market, the commission expressed concern that the benefits of competition are not being realized in the natural gas market. Pennsylvania consumers have the statutory ability to select their natural gas supplier, but only 13 percent of gas customers in the state purchase from competitive suppliers.

Northeast Could Get Some of the US' Cheapest Gas

8/14/13 | Breaking Energy

The US Northeast has traditionally been saddled with some of the country's highest natural gas prices. But with production growth in the region exceeding expectations, a resulting gas glut could push regional prices down below those at other trading points around the US, according to Barclays.

Barclays data shows that output from the Marcellus shale, which spans several eastern US states, rose by 2.1 billion cubic feet per day in the first six months of 2013, a large increase over the 1.5 bcf/d growth in the same period of last year.

DOE Approves 3rd LNG Export Terminal

8/14/13 | Today's Energy Solutions

The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved a third facility to export natural gas produced in the United States to countries that are not a part of its Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The terminal in Lake Charles, La., received conditional authorization from the DOE to export at a rate of up to 2bcf/d for a period of 20 years.

Why Natural Gas Traders Don't Fret Hurricane Season Anymore

6/4/13 | Forbes

Big storms, of course, can play havoc with oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, knocking production offline and sending prices soaring. But we know with certainty that even a succession of Category 5 storms taking dead aim at the Gulf Coast will not have the impact on the natgas market as did those storms of yesteryear.

From providing more than 25% of the U.S. natural gas market 15 years ago, the Gulf of Mexico now accounts for just 5% of total supply. Naturally, the onshore shale gas revolution has more than made up for it. Total U.S. natural gas supply is now at a record 82 billion cubic feet per day, up from 68 bcf/d a decade ago and 63 bcf/d in 1993. On the other hand, oil production from the Gulf has stayed pretty flat in recent years at 1.3 million barrels per day (roughly 20% of the U.S. total).

Natural gas prices should stay above $4 mcf, report says

5/15/13 | Pittsburgh Business Times

Natural gas prices should remain over the $4 per thousand cubic feet mark through the end of the year, according to a new report.

Sterne Agee said in a study released Monday it was "cautiously optimistic on natural gas prices through 2013, and believe a $4-$4.50/mcf range should persist through year-end." But it also expects production to be flat or down through this year.

Coal Continues to Capture Market Share from Gas

5/7/13 | Power Engineering

April coal consumption, on a MWh basis, was up 15% versus 2012 while natural gas generation was down 19%. Year-to-date coal continues its strong run, up 13%, while natural gas power generation lags last year's record output levels by 11%.

Renewable generation hit its highest levels since last June topping out at 45,939GWh for the month of April; up 15.4% from last month.

Lower-48 State Gas Output Gain Most in 16 Months

5/1/13 | Bloomberg

U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states rose in February by the most in 16 months as new wells came online from shale deposits in the Northeast and North Dakota, a government report today showed.

Production in the lower 48 states rose 1.3 percent to 73.22 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 72.3 billion in January, the biggest month-over-month percentage gain since October 2011, the Energy Information Administration's monthly EIA-914 report showed. Output, which increased for the first time in three months, was up 1.8 percent from a year earlier.

Coal to recapture some of the energy market lost to natural gas

4/24/13 | Power Engineering

Competition between coal and natural gas as fuel for electricity generation is expected to continue in the short term, but because natural gas prices are projected to increase more rapidly than coal prices, existing coal plants should “gradually recapture some of the market lost in recent years.

Although coal remains the largest source of power generation, its share of total electricity generation, which was 52 percent in 2003, has declined to 42 percent in 2011 and is projected to be at 35 percent in 2040, according to the EIA.

The EIA notes that natural gas has been “the go-to fuel for new electricity generation capacity” over the past 20 years, with natural gas-fired plants accounting for 77 percent of all generating capacity from 1990 to 2011. Slow growth in electricity demand in spikes in natural gas prices between 2005 and 2008, however, caused much of the added capacity to be used infrequently until 2009, when natural gas prices became relatively low and made combined cycle natural gas-fired plants increasingly competitive.

NY Assembly Votes to Extend Fracking Moratorium Until 2015

3/18/13 | AOL Energy

On March 6, 2013, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to further suspend issuance of permits for high volume hydraulic fracturing until May 15, 2015. The bill passed with a vote of 95-40 and marks the Assembly's third moratorium, following similar measures in 2010 and 2011. The industry currently awaits the release of DEC's Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) and a subsequent ruling for permit issuance.

US Suggests Keystone Pipeline Won't Harm Environment

3/4/13 | Global Energy World

The US State Department suggested Friday that a $5.3 billion Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline would have no major impact on the environment, but stopped short of recommending it be approved.

The lengthy draft environmental impact statement examines how the Keystone XL Project could affect wildlife and surrounding areas as it crosses from the tar-sands of Alberta in Canada and travels 875 miles (1,408 kilometers) south

US Northeast spot gas prices down nearly $4/MMBtu as demand fades

2/25/13 | Platts

This past Friday US Northeast spot gas prices fell as much as $4 or 39% Friday on expectations that weather demand will fade due to an impeding warm-up scheduled to start on Monday.

The biggest fall in the region was the volatile Algonquin Gas Transmission city-gates point, which shed nearly $4 to average in the mid-$6.10s/MMBtu on IntercontinentalExchange.

Following close behind was another New England market city-gate -- Tennessee Gas Pipeline zone 6-200 leg -- where the price fell nearly $3.50 to average around $6.10/MMBtu on ICE.

Marcellus Shale natural gas boom expected to slow in 2013 as industry waits for new sales

2/18/13 | The Washington Post

Energy experts say the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas production will slow this year but not because there's any lack of supply. The slowdown is happening because drillers are waiting for pipelines to expand, new markets to develop and wholesale prices to rise.

Bans On Natural Gas Fracking Spread

2/4/13 | AOL Energy

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie imposed a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state, pending more research into its safety. New Jersey joins New York as the only two U.S. states to place at least a temporary ban on "fracking" which critics say contaminates ground water with toxic chemicals but which is defended by the gas industry as safe.

Marcellus Production Helps Reduce Natural Gas Prices in 2012

1/19/13 | Energy Information Administration

The average wholesale natural gas price fell by 31 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, down from $4.02 per million British thermal units in 2011 to $2.77 per MMBtu at the main trading location in Louisiana. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports on Tuesday that last winter's mild weather, combined with increased production of Marcellus Shale natural gas, as well as shale gas production in Texas, forced a significant drop in price. The price of natural gas fell despite a shift in electricity generation from coal to natural gas.

Oil production to grow at fastest rate ever

1/9/13 | Fuel Fix

Driven by the shale boom, the United States in 2014 will hit its highest daily oil production level since 1988 and will grow oil output at the highest rate ever, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted Tuesday. U.S. daily oil production, which averaged 6.4 million barrels a day in 2012, will surge 23 percent to average 7.9 million barrels a day in 2014, the administration said.

2012 US Oil Output Increase Biggest Since 1859

12/17/13 | Energy Information Administration

When the curtain falls on 2012, U.S. oil production will have witnessed its largest rise in annual output since the middle of the 19th Century, the U.S. Energy Information administration predicted Tuesday. EIA said oil markets have loosened in the fourth quarter as more world supply comes online, and while it raised its estimate of oil consumption next year, the agency stayed close to its forecast for benchmark global oil prices the rest of this year and into 2013, according to its December Short Term Energy Outlook.

Natural gas working inventories, which reached an all-time weekly

12/17/13 | Energy Information Administration

Natural Gas inventories which broke a record in early November, ended the month at an estimated 3.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), almost equal to the level at the same time last year. EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $4.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2011, will average $2.78 per MMBtu in 2012 and $3.68 per MMBtu in 2013.

U.S. Oil Output Hits Nearly 15-Year High

12/5/13 | Wall Street Journal

U.S. crude-oil production reached its highest level in nearly 15 years in September, thanks in large part to the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday. Daily production averaged nearly 6.5 million barrels, the EIA said, an increase of 16%, or about 900,000 barrels, over September 2011.

Natural Gas Trend Lines Signal Price Decline

12/4/13 | Bloomberg

Natural gas futures will fall in the next month, based on a technical analysis of trend lines by Piper Jaffray Cos. that shows recent highs and lows. A six-month chart of daily prices shows gas may tumble to a support level of $3.20 to $3.30 per million British thermal units in the next month. The average, a short-term support level, was $3.538 per million Btu yesterday.

Marcellus gas production on the rise

11/21/13 | UPI

The number of rigs operating in the Marcellus gas play declined, though production there increased 72 percent since last year, the U.S. government reports. The U.S. Energy Department reports that the number of oil and natural gas rigs active in the Utica shale play in the northeastern United States has doubled.

Natural Gas May Set New 2012 High on Weather

11/19/13 | Bloomberg

Natural gas futures may rise this week after reaching a one-year high last week as colder weather helps reduce a stockpile surplus of the heating fuel. Natural gas for December delivery advanced 28.7 cents, or 8.2 percent, to $3.79 per million British thermal units this week in New York. Last Friday's settlement was the highest since Oct. 31, 2011. The futures are up 13 percent from a year ago.

Natural Gas to Be Most-Used Fuel in U.S. by 2030

11/12/13 | Bloomberg

Natural gas will overtake oil as the most-used fuel in the U.S. by 2030 as the country's supplies balloon, the International Energy Agency said. Socalled unconventional gas, extracted from sources including shale rock and coal beds, will account for almost half of the increase in global output of the fuel by 2035, the Paris- based adviser to 28 industrialized nations said today in its World Energy Outlook. U.S. production will rise 23 percent and supply most of the growth along with China and Australia.

U.S. natural gas inventories notch record high

11/5/13 | Reuters

U.S. natural gas inventories climbed last week to an all-time high, the fourth straight year a record high has been hit at this point in the season, according to data released Thursday by the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA report showed that total domestic gas inventories climbed last week by 65 billion cubic feet to a record 3.908 trillion cubic feet, eclipsing the previous high of 3.852 tcf hit in November 2011.

Short Term Natural Gas Outlook

11/5/13 | Energy Information Administration

Working natural gas inventories are at a record high level. As of October 26, 2012, working inventories totaled 3,908 billion cubic feet (Bcf), which is 56 Bcf greater than the previous record high of 3,852 Bcf on November 18, 2011. EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $4.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2011, to average $2.77 per MMBtu in 2012 and $3.49 per MMBtu in 2013.

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