Posts from Mike Patterson

One goal of the RBN blogosphere is to provide clarity to a highly intricate, interwoven energy complex.  Today we are going to tackle an aspect of energy markets that has vexed us for some time.  We’re going to explore some of the big numbers that are used to measure energy markets, what they mean to the oil patch (Cowtown, a.k.a., Fort Worth here in Texas is a good example of that) and to each of us as energy users.  So put on your thinking cap and tell your colleagues to leave you alone for five minutes.  We’re going to expand our minds.

Last week (May 3 2013) a very late winter snowstorm crossed the Rocky Mountains into the upper Midwest, dropping over a foot of spring snow from Colorado to Wisconsin.  So-called winter Storm Achilles smashed snowfall records across the Upper Midwest. The storm was only the second May snowstorm on record for Kansas City and Des Moines.  Today we look at the impact of this year’s late winter weather on energy markets.

Does lightning strike twice?  How about three times?  Sure seems like the coal industry has been hit by three lightning bolts in the past several years: a recession that reduced demand for electrical power, low prices for competing fuels (i.e., natural gas), and new federal regulations on smokestack emissions.  Today we review regulations that have left coal power generators singing the smokestack blues.

Is the winter of 2012/13 all over - bar the shouting? With the end of the heating season just nine weeks away (March 31, 2013) there may not be enough time left for winter temperatures to have a material impact on record natural gas storage levels. Today we analyze where the winter could go from here.