September 3rd 2019


Happy Belated Labor Day! It seems only fitting that we honor 19th century trade unions and labor movements by not working. Since 1894, Americans have celebrated the first Monday in September by milking the last rays of summer sunshine and barbecuing with friends and family. Done and done.

Now back to work, with this week’s jolt.

Heating Oil

  • Prompt-month heating oil futures decreased 0.76% for the week ending Friday, 8/30, as prices fell $0.0138 per gallon.
  • On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for delivery in October closed at $55.10 per barrel on Friday, 8/30, down 2.70% for the day, and up 1.72% for the week

Why so crude? Crude oil prices rose last week but fell on Tuesday to erase their gains, trading around $53.50 a barrel. Trade talks between the U.S. and China yielded little progress as new tariffs from both sides took effect over the weekend and created a bearish sentiment among investors. President Trump told reporters that trade talks would resume in Washington this month, but China’s commerce ministry said they were still undecided on whether they would send a delegation. In addition, output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose in August, a first for the year. This marked the first increase since OPEC made an agreement with Russia and other non-member countries to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in December. The Baker Hughes oil rig count fell again last week, going from 754 to 742 and indicating decreased domestic production.

Natural Gas

  • Prompt-month natural gas futures increased $0.099 for the week ending Friday, 8/30, to settle at $2.251/Dth.
  • Overall supply decreased by 0.8 Bcf from the previous week. Total demand decreased by 1.5 Bcf.
  • Natural gas exports in June 2019 were 359,526 million cubic feet, compared with 261,995 million cubic feet in June 2018. This is a 37.23% increase.

Dark & Stormy! Hurricane Dorian remains the focus for the east coast of the United States, but other storms are brewing and gaining the attention of natural gas traders. Dorian is expected to move west and then northwest, sliding across the east coast of the United States. The storm is unlikely to damage any natural gas production facilities, and as it makes it’s way back to sea, traders will turn their attention to other storms. – FX Empire


  • Average peak prices in NYC decreased last week, falling $14.03 to $24.63 per MWh.
  • Average peak prices in New Jersey’s PSE&G decreased, falling $15.90 to $18.77 per MWh.
  • Average peak prices in Central NY’s Zone C decreased, falling $8.49 to $21.24 per MWh.
  • Calendar 2020 prices in NYC increased $0.25 per MWh, and PSE&G prices increased $0.32 per MWh.
  • Calendar 2020 prices in Zone C increased $0.24 per MWh.

Bird On A Wire! Ever wonder why birds sitting on a power line don’t get zapped? Sure you have. If a bird sits on just the one power line everything is peachy. Alternatively, if the bird touches another line, it creates a circuit. Bye bye birdie.


Nobody likes the winter ritual of defrosting windows on a cold morning. Thanks to an international team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Japan’s Kyushu University however, such indignities may not hang around for too much longer. They have developed a new way of removing ice and frost from surfaces with impressive efficiency — requiring less than 1% of the energy and 0.01% of the time required for traditional defrosting methods. In addition to car windows, it could be used for other surfaces, such as defrosting airplanes. – Digital Trends