Too Much Gas: Alberta Natural Gas Storage About To Hit Capacity In Two Months

Alberta’s natural gas storage facilities are facing a looming capacity crisis, with projections suggesting they could reach full capacity within the next two months. This excess capacity has led to a sharp decline in prices, hitting a four-and-a-half-year low recently, signaling challenging times ahead for the region’s gas market.

Source: RBN Energy

The AECO prompt month contract, which serves as Western Canada’s benchmark forward natural gas price, plummeted to C$1.15/Gigajoule (GJ) or $0.88/MMBtu on April 15, marking its lowest value since October 1, 2019. Factors contributing to this downward trend include abundant gas storage levels and robust production in Western Canada.

The abundance of natural gas in Alberta’s storage caverns is notable, with estimates suggesting a staggering 56% increase compared to the previous year and a 65% surge compared to the five-year average. Data from RBN’s Canadian NatGas Billboard indicates that as of April 15, approximately 374 Bcf of natural gas is in storage in Alberta, indicating a surplus that is rapidly approaching the region’s storage capacity of around 480 Bcf.

Source: RBN Energy

The current low prices are primarily attributed to diminished demand for natural gas during the winter months, leaving substantial quantities unused and stored. Coupled with continued high levels of gas production in Western Canada, the market is facing an oversupply situation that is driving prices downwards.

Analysts warn that if the trend continues, Alberta’s natural gas storage could reach capacity by the end of June or early July, much earlier than usual. This scenario could prolong the period of depressed prices throughout the summer, posing significant challenges for producers and stakeholders in the region’s gas market.

This also comes as the province is seeing movement towards a nuclear power push. Earlier this year, Alberta’s Capital Power Corp. announced that it is set to pioneer the province’s inaugural nuclear power reactor by 2035. Teaming up with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Capital Power aims to explore the feasibility of constructing small modular reactors over the next two years.

Information for this briefing was found via RBN Energy and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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