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February 4, 2016

NATURAL GAS INVENTORY (Week Ended 1/29/16)

Current: 2,934 Bcf
Actual Injection/(Withdrawal), per EIA: (152) Bcf
Economist Average Estimate, per Bloomberg: (158) Bcf
Previous: 3,086 Bcf

Click here for the chart with five year averages.

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*If Punxsutawney Phil is Right, the Natural Gas Pain will be Déjà vu All Over Again – Oil & Gas 360®

An early Spring is on its way – at least, according to America’s favorite amateur weather forecaster. On February 2, 2016, in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the folk hero groundhog emerged from his burrow and declared his annual prediction to a crowd recovering from libations the night before. The President of the Groundhog Club spoke on his behalf. And assuming nothing was lost in translation, the 20-lb. rodent was apparently unfazed by his shadowless surroundings and declared an early spring is on the horizon. – Read More

*Baby, It’s Cold Inside: Beijing to Lower Building Temperatures Amid Natural Gas Shortage – The Wall Street Journal

Bundle up, Beijing: Many of the city’s buildings are about to get a bit chillier. The severe cold spell last weekend that saw temperatures fall to their lowest level in decades in the Chinese capital has left the city’s government running short on natural gas to heat homes and offices. Beijing’s government on Friday said that as part of an emergency-response plan, it would cut heating temperatures in public buildings to 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit). – Read More

*Australia’s AGL Energy quits gas business as oil price bites – Reuters

Australia’s second-largest energy retailer AGL Energy Ltd has quit its coal-seam gas business as plunging oil prices undermined the economics of the projects, highlighting the pressure on the country’s energy industry. AGL has been trying to sell its gas assets in Queensland state for several years, but said in a statement on Thursday that efforts to sell the Moranbah, Silver Spring and Spring Gully sites may take time because of “difficult market conditions.” – Read More

*IET: New Protocols are Paying Dividends for Small Producers – Oil & Gas 360®

Technology and innovation are critical factors for oilservice companies, especially in the new commodity environment where stress tests are being pushed to the max. A recent feature from Stephens Inc. named the importance of technology as one of its four key elements for oilservice company investing, and companies across the energy sector continuously describe operational efficiencies in their respective quarterly announcements. – Read More

*U.S. Natural Gas Rises As America’s CO2 Emissions Drop – Forbes

As much as fossil fuel alternatives are increasing, natural gas is increasing more. And will continue to grow faster than all other sources in the United States and Europe. This may be a double-edged sword. On the plus side – natural gas is cheap. The figure below shows the slow anticipated price increase over the next two decades, barely a dollar per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) over that time. – Read More

*Power producer Dominion to buy Questar in natural gas push – Reuters

Dominion Resources Inc (D.N) said it would buy Questar Corp (STR.N) for about $4.4 billion in cash, the latest power producer to bet on stable revenues from natural gas distribution at a time when power demand is waning. The deal is the third in a series of mergers between power producers and gas utilities, which are benefiting from a glut of shale gas and federal regulation that mandates the use of the fuel in power generation. – Read More

*Gazprom Holds First New York Investor Meetings Since its Pivot to Asian Markets – Oil & Gas 360®

Russia’s state owned gas giant Gazprom (ticker: OGZPY, is hoping to increase its share of the European market to 33% this year, 2% more than in 2015. The company also plans to continue growing through 2018, despite its public message of maintaining supply, according to non-public documents obtained by Bloomberg. – Read More

*The Next Victim of 2015 Natural Gas Rout? Traders’ Bonus Checks – Bloomberg

Bonuses for trading power and natural gas in Europe and the U.S. aren’t what they used to be. Payouts for traders in European power and gas in 2015 will average $437,000, about half what they were five years ago, according to four recruiters in a Bloomberg News survey. U.S. bonuses will be $450,000, down 40 percent in the past eight years, according to Kaye Bassman International Corp., a Dallas recruiting firm. – Read More

*MPLX LP Pulls Back the Reigns, Cuts Dividend Growth in Half – Oil & Gas 360®

Just 63 days after the close of a transformative purchase of MarkWest Energy Partners, Marathon Petroleum, the General Partner of MPLX LP (ticker: MPLX), is downwardly adjusting its dividend growth plan for the MLP – plans that it made public during the company’s Analyst Day presentation on December 3, 2015. MPLX, the limited partner of Marathon Oil Corporation (ticker: MPC), closed the acquisition of MarkWest Energy Partners on December 2, 2015, but not without its fair share of hurdles. – Read More

*One statistic shows just how dramatically our energy system is changing – The Washington Post

In mid-2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency released its Clean Power Plan, it made a prediction of sorts. Under the new policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector, the EPA said, coal use would decline and the use of natural gas and renewables would increase. The result, by the year 2030, would be a country in which coal, once the leading source of U.S. power, would only provide “about 27 percent of the projected generation,” with “natural gas providing about 33 percent.” – Read More

*Why The Marcellus Shale Play Could Spell The End For Canadian Natural Gas – Alberta Oil Magazine

When Procter & Gamble first went looking for a place to make toilet paper, the company landed in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, a northeastern part of the state that, more than a half-century ago, was rich in wood, water and workers. It was 1957, and if Wyoming County also happened to be within easy trucking distance of most of the U.S. population at the time, all the better. – Read More

*Chevron: Commodity Slide Delivers Q4’15 Loss – Oil & Gas 360®

The oil and gas industry is not expecting Q4’15 earnings season to be pretty, but not many expected Chevron (ticker: CVX,, one of the world’s largest integrated oil companies, to post a loss of $558 million. Typically, integrated companies are somewhat shielded from commodity downturns, as the profits increase in the downstream sector to offset losses from the upstream side. – Read More

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