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In This Issue

Pilgrim to Refuel Next Year, Close in 2019

Firm Suspends Plans to Build $3.3B Natural Gas Pipeline

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price


NOAA 6 to 10 Day Outlook
Color indicates the probability of forecasted temperatures being above or below a historical average for the period.


Market Overviews

Pilgrim to Refuel Next Year, Close in 2019

RTO Insider | April 21, 2016

Entergy said Thursday it intends to refuel the Pilgrim nuclear plant next year and then cease operations on May 31, 2019.

The company announced last year that the plant would close between 2017 and 2019 but deferred a decision on whether to perform one last refueling.

“The issue is that we have an obligation to provide the ISO-NE with power until that May 31, 2019, date. After looking at different options to best fulfill that commitment, we determined refueling Pilgrim was the most appropriate way for the company to meet the obligation,” spokesman Patrick O’Brien said.

At the time of the closure announcement, company officials said the plant’s annual revenue was projected to drop by $40 million a year because of low energy prices.

With a poor ranking for operational performance, the plant was also under increased scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Meeting NRC requirements to continue operating would have required $45 million to $60 million in capital expenditures, the company said.

Cheap natural gas has depressed power prices and stressed nuclear plants throughout the country. Entergy closed its Vermont Yankee plant at the end of 2014. The company also said it will close its James A. Fitzpatrick plant in New York in about a year, although state officials are trying to create incentives to keep it operating.

The final refueling will be a brief boon for the local economy. Entergy said Pilgrim’s 2015 refueling outage required a $70 million investment in the plant, including $25 million in new equipment, and employed nearly 2,000 employees, including 1,184 extra contract workers.

Entergy said a team with decommissioning and Pilgrim plant experience will plan for the shutdown.

The 680-MW plant began commercial operations in 1972.


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Firm Suspends Plans to Build $3.3B Natural Gas Pipeline

ABC News | April 21, 2016

Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Wednesday it has decided to stop work on the project. It cited a lack of contracts with gas distribution companies.

The company also said New England states haven't established needed regulatory procedures to allow it to move forward and the process in each state for creating those procedures remains open-ended.

"There are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured," the company said in a press release.

The company said, given the market conditions, continuing to develop the pipeline is an unacceptable use of its shareholder funds.

"Innovations in production have resulted in a low-price environment that, while good for consumers, has made it difficult for producers to make new long term commitments," the company added.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she was pleased by the announcement, pointing to what the New Hampshire Republican called "the many unanswered questions and concerns raised by New Hampshire residents who would have been affected by this project."

Those sentiments were shared by fellow U.S. Sen. Edward Markey.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he opposed the pipeline because if could have accelerated climate change and led to the export of American natural gas to foreign countries.

Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the announcement "highlights the pressing need to secure cost-effective hydropower and other renewable energy resources to meet the growing demand for affordable energy in Massachusetts and New England."

An aide to Democratic New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said shelving the project reinforces the need for the state to build a stronger, more affordable energy future.

The project has been met with skepticism and opposition, both from residents along the proposed path of the pipeline and from environmental groups who welcomed Wednesday's decision to halt work.

George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, said Kinder Morgan was stopping the pipeline because it was too expensive and wasn't needed.

"Massachusetts has the capacity to develop its own energy in solar, wind and hydro," Bachrach said.

Democratic Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg called the decision a game changer and said it will allow "a broader discussion about how to meet Massachusetts' energy needs."

The decision also raises more questions for Massachusetts' energy future, coming on the heels of the announcement to shutter the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in May 2019.

Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, said Kinder Morgan's decision could put pressure on regulators to approve other infrastructure projects to help ease electricity prices in New Hampshire and New England.

Those energy prices are among the highest in the U.S.

Read More:

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update


Oil Slides as Dollar Rebounds; GlutWorry Grows After Rally

Reuters | April 21, 2016

Oil prices slid on Thursday, reversing early gains as a rebounding dollar weighed on commodities denominated in the U.S. currency.

Brent crude futures' front-month contract was down 55 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $45.25 a barrel by 11:24 a.m. EDT (1524 GMT), off its session high of $46.18. Brent had gained 7 percent in two previous sessions.

The front-month in U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slid 48 cents to $43.70 a barrel, off its session high of $44.49.


EIA Reports 7 Billion Cubic Foot Climb in Natural Gas Supplies

Market Watch | April 21, 2016

Natural-gas futures saw volatile trading Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that supplies of the commodity rose 7 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 15. Analysts polled by Platts forecast a climb of 2 billion cubic feet. Total stocks now stand at 2.484 trillion cubic feet, up 881 billion cubic feet from a year ago and 811 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. May natural gas rose 1.9 cents, or 0.9%, to $2.088 per million British thermal units after briefly trading lower immediately after the supply data. Prices traded at $2.075 before the report.

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 2,484 Bcf as of Friday, April 15, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 7 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 881 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 811 Bcf above the five-year average of 1,673 Bcf. At 2,484 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price ($ per mmBtu)

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change - Five Yearly Snapshot

Disclaimer: The information contained in these reports is gathered from public and/or internal sources and is presented solely for the convenience of our customers and Newsletter Subscribers. Patriot Energy Group makes no representation or warranty, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information set forth in this newsletter, and Patriot Energy shall not have any liability to any person or entity resulting from use of this information in any way.
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