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FERC Sees High LNG Prices This Winter

All regions in the United States have adequate energy resources for a “normal” winter, but that doesn’t mean all regions will coast through winter without disruption, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Thursday in its new annual winter assessment report.

Calls for unseasonably warm temperatures across some parts of the United States should allow all regions of the United States to escape the winter heating season unscathed, but any extreme weather events this winter could lead to temporary surges in fuel demand, threatening the stability of power grids.

In the six New England states, for example, power generation is “adequate”, but fuel constraints could be a headache. FERC sees Texas as having “robust” capacity, but is limited by its inability to import power from neighboring states.

The FERC sees natural gas prices for this coming winter higher than last winter due to rising nat gas demand via exports and lower nat gas storage levels. For New England, which relies in part on LNG imports, the prices could be particularly high.

The FERC sees the price of LNG as a cause worthy of attention and is ready to “address market manipulation.”

“The impacts of rising natural gas prices on consumers are top of mind. Although FERC does not regulate natural gas prices, we do have authority to address market manipulation and we intend to remain particularly watchful during this period of inflation and high price sensitivity,” FERC Chairman Rich Glick said in a Thursday press release.

The North American Energy Standards Board will meet on Friday to identify solutions to reliability challenges with natural gas and bulk electric systems.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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