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In This Issue

Access Northeast Moving Forward Despite MA Court Ruling

Canadian, New England Governors to Talk Energy at Boston Conference

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

Access Northeast Moving Forward Despite MA Court Ruling

Natural Gas Intelligence | September 1, 2016

The developers of the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion are moving “full-speed ahead” despite a state supreme court ruling last week that invalidated the project’s capacity contracts in Massachusetts.

This week, New England electric distribution companies (EDC) Eversource Energy and National Grid filed motions to withdraw earlier proposals submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) that would have allowed them to sign up for capacity on Access Northeast and recover the costs through rates. Those proposals, approved by the DPU, were ruled illegal last week by the Supreme Judicial Court (see Daily GPI, Aug. 18).

Eversource and National Grid have signed on to co-develop Access Northeast with Spectra Energy. The project, Spectra’s proposed solution to the winter capacity constraints that have caused price spikes in New England in recent years, would serve electric generation demand by adding roughly 900,000 Dth/d to Spectra-affiliate Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC’s system primarily through brownfield expansion.

The overturned contract proposals would have seen Eversource and National Grid release their firm transportation capacity on Access Northeast directly to electric generators or back into the market. The project’s backers proposed the arrangement as a workaround for adding capacity to serve gas-fired power generation when generators themselves have little incentive to commit to long-term firm transportation.

Spectra spokesman Creighton Welch said via email that the Massachusetts ruling will not prevent Access Northeast from moving forward.

“Without targeted expansion of natural gas pipeline capacity, New England energy consumers will inevitably bear the brunt of ever-increasing energy prices and ever-diminishing supply reliability,” Welch said.

“For this reason, we have put the Court’s decision behind us. We remain firmly committed to our part in solving New England’s energy challenge. There is a sizeable need for natural gas throughout New England that is unabated by the Court’s decision. To date, each participating state jurisdiction is progressing independently with its own process to approve contracts for the Access Northeast Project and these processes are unaffected by the Massachusetts process.

“Therefore, our path forward is clear and our mission to reestablish the Massachusetts contribution is full-speed ahead. We are confident that, ultimately, the interests of New England’s consumers will prevail with desperately needed gas supply made available by Access Northeast.”

Access Northeast’s backers have also been working to get the EDC capacity release proposal approved by FERC in the form of a tariff revision (see Daily GPI, June 29).

Other regional energy players, including Engie Gas & LNG LLC, a plaintiff in the Massachusetts case, have opposed Access Northeast’s plan as anti-competitive, while proponents have said the expansion will improve reliability and save ratepayers money (see Daily GPI, June 13).

Engie, in opposition to the Algonquin tariff revision, filed a motion to lodge the Massachusetts ruling with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week. The court’s ruling “invalidated the approval for the very contracts supporting the asserted need for the tariff changes,” the company wrote.

Access Northeast is not the first New England-directed pipeline project to run into problems recently. Earlier this year, the state of New York denied a water permit to Constitution Pipeline LLC that has stalled the Pennsylvania-to-New York project (see Daily GPI, April 25).

Around the same time, Kinder Morgan Inc. cancelled Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s Northeast Energy Direct project, citing the region’s lack of established regulatory procedures to facilitate binding EDC commitments as a factor (see Daily GPI, April 21).

Read More:

Canadian, New England Governors to Talk Energy at Boston Conference

MassLive | September 1, 2016

The six New England governors and premiers of the five eastern Canadian provinces will meet in Boston on Sunday and Monday, with discussions about energy at the top of their agenda.

The co-chairs of the 40th Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers will be Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Wade MacLauchlan, the premier of Price Edward Island.

According to information provided by Baker's office, the goal of this year's conference is to "explore ways in which innovations in technologies, investments, and effective processes grow economic opportunities in the region."

The conference is occurring at a time when energy policy has become an important issue in Massachusetts. Baker recently signed a law that will require Massachusetts to solicit long-term contracts to purchase offshore wind and hydropower. Most of the hydropower is expected to come from Canada.

At the same time, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently struck a blow to the expansion of natural gas in New England and Canada when it ruled that Massachusetts electric companies could not charge customers for the cost of building natural gas pipelines.

The two public panel discussions at the conference both relate to energy. One features experts in energy storage, biofuels, building technology, clean energy and chemical engineering. They will talk broadly about emerging and innovative technologies.

The second panel is titled "The Benefits and Importance of Diverse Energy Generation." It includes representatives of utilities National Grid and Eversource, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environment Matthew Beaton, the director of power systems engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Boston's chief energy official.

During the conference, the leaders will also meet with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay.

The conference opens Sunday night with an arrival ceremony at the Statehouse, followed by a reception and dinner. Massachusetts vendors and performers will be featured.

It runs all day Monday at the Hynes Convention Center with private meetings and public remarks and panel discussions.

Read More:

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update


Natural Gas Prices Swing Higher as Storm Brews in Gulf

The Wall Street Journal | September 1, 2016

Natural gas prices ticked up Wednesday, reversing course after two days of losses as a storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico continued to strengthen. Natural gas for October delivery rose 6 cents, or 2.12%, to $2.887 a million Brutish thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Hermine gained strength Wednesday as it headed toward Florida, and the National Hurricane Center said it is poised to be near hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall.


Oil Falls As High Stocks Outweigh Talk Of Output Freeze

Reuters | September 1, 2016

Oil prices fell on Thursday after a rise in U.S. crude inventories focused attention on a supply glut that has pushed stockpiles to record highs around the world.

U.S. crude oil stocks increased by 2.3 million barrels to 525.9 million barrels in the week to Aug. 26, data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration showed. Analysts had forecast an increase of 921,000 barrels. [EIA/S]

“The high U.S. inventory data suggest oversupply will remain for longer than expected,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. in Amsterdam.

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 3,401 Bcf as of Friday, August 26, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 51 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 238 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 334 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,067 Bcf. At 3,401 Bcf, total working gas is above 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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