As we enter August, the winter of 2014 is a distant memory along with the gas shortages and high prices that it brought with it. The first week of August 2014 looks an awful lot like the same time last year with one key difference: even worse NGL prices and improved gas prices. It’s the worst of both worlds for NGL producers as frac spread margins are now worse off than a year ago.
The NGL market is experiencing a down period this summer as infrastructure outages, construction delays and cool weather have combined to make this a lost season.
As July draws to a close, ethane prices remain in free fall with major headwinds working against them, primarily in the form of plant outages that have severely reduced domestic cracking capacity.
Ethane prices had been expected to begin their long-awaited improvement this summer, but that progress appears to be getting stunted once again.
Mont Belvieu ethane prices improved alongside natural gas prices as a result of an increase in late summer cooling demand. However, gains were small and frac spread margins continue to be challenged as they remained firmly negative for the final week of August.
A sluggish summer for commodity prices is fast drawing to a close and producers can only hope that a repeat of last winter will spur demand and increase prices for propane and natural gas.
As the summer of 2014 draws to a close, NGL prices continued to return to levels from last summer with the only real discrepancies being higher Conway propane prices and lower Mont Belvieu isobutane prices this year.
North Dakota will add three oil and gas gathering pipeline inspectors in response to the state’s rapidly growing well count, which passed 15,000 in July and triggered the release of a budget appropriation.
Loss of a signal sent to a maritime tracking system indicates that a tanker loaded with 1 million barrels of oil from Iraq’s Kurdish region may have departed its position 60 miles off the Port of Galveston, Texas.
Dakota Gold Transfer-Plaza LLC announced plans to develop a crude oil transload facility in Mountrail County, N.D.
Key North American Hub Prices: August 27, 2014
ONEOK Partners, LP’s 100-million cubic feet per day natural gas processing facility in eastern McKenzie County, N.D.—the Garden Creek II plant—is now operational.
New infrastructure conference assembles top energy talent in Wyoming.
The lingering oversupply of ethane produced from U.S. unconventional shales may right itself—but it will take a few years and strong exports.
AltaGas Ltd. and Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. signed definitive agreements to enter a 15-year strategic alliance for the development of processing infrastructure and marketing services for natural gas and NGL, the companies announced Aug. 19.
Pennsylvania-based The Linde Group added a petrochemical plant business unit to its engineering division offices in Houston, Texas.
According to the latest report from research and consulting firm GlobalData, Global polypropylene capacity increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2003 to reach 65 million tons per year (mtpy) in 2013.
Houston-based Westlake Chemical Partners LP, a limited partnership formed to operate, acquire and develop ethylene production facilities and related assets, launched its IPO of 11,250,000 common units representing limited partner interests.
Koch Industries Inc.’s subsidiary Flint Hills Resources LLC significantly expanded its chemicals business with the completion of its purchase of PetroLogistics LP and its general partner, PetroLogistics GP LLC.