Comparison of AEO 2005 natural gas price forecast to NYMEX futures prices

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On December 9, the reference case projections from ''Annual Energy Outlook 2005 (AEO 2005)'' were posted on the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) web site. As some of you may be aware, we at LBNL have in the past compared the EIA's reference case long-term natural gas price forecasts from the AEO series to contemporaneous natural gas prices that can be locked in through the forward market, with the goal of better understanding fuel price risk and the role that renewables play in mitigating such risk. As such, we were curious to see how the latest AEO gas price forecast compares ... continued below

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6 pages; OS: Windows XP

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Bolinger, Mark & Wiser, Ryan December 13, 2004.

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Description

On December 9, the reference case projections from ''Annual Energy Outlook 2005 (AEO 2005)'' were posted on the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) web site. As some of you may be aware, we at LBNL have in the past compared the EIA's reference case long-term natural gas price forecasts from the AEO series to contemporaneous natural gas prices that can be locked in through the forward market, with the goal of better understanding fuel price risk and the role that renewables play in mitigating such risk. As such, we were curious to see how the latest AEO gas price forecast compares to the NYMEX natural gas futures strip. This brief memo presents our findings. As a refresher, our past work in this area has found that over the past four years, forward natural gas contracts (e.g., gas futures, swaps, and physical supply) have traded at a premium relative to contemporaneous long-term reference case gas price forecasts from the EIA. As such, we have concluded that, over the past four years at least, levelized cost comparisons of fixed-price renewable generation with variable price gas-fired generation that have been based on AEO natural gas price forecasts (rather than forward prices) have yielded results that are ''biased'' in favor of gas-fired generation (presuming that long-term price stability is valued). In this memo we simply update our past analysis to include the latest long-term gas price forecast from the EIA, as contained in AEO 2005. For the sake of brevity, we do not rehash information (on methodology, potential explanations for the premiums, etc.) contained in our earlier reports on this topic; readers interested in such information are encouraged to download that work from http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/EMS/reports/53587.pdf or, more recently (and briefly), http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/reports/54751.pdf. As was the case in the past four AEO releases (AEO 2001-AE0 2004), we once again find that the AEO 2005 reference case gas price forecast falls well below where NYMEX natural gas futures contracts were trading at the time the EIA finalized its gas price forecast. In fact, the NYMEXAEO 2005 reference case comparison yields by far the largest premium--$1.11/MMBtu levelized over six years--that we have seen over the last five years. In other words, on average, one would have to pay $1.11/MMBtu more than the AEO 2005 reference case natural gas price forecast in order to lock in natural gas prices over the coming six years and thereby replicate the price stability provided intrinsically by fixed-price renewable generation. Fixed-price renewables obviously need not bear this added cost, and moreover can provide price stability for terms well in excess of six years.

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6 pages; OS: Windows XP

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OSTI as DE00838984

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  • Other Information: PBD: 13 Dec 2004

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  • Report No.: LBNL--56755
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/838984 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 838984
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc780848

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  • December 13, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 4:04 p.m.

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Bolinger, Mark & Wiser, Ryan. Comparison of AEO 2005 natural gas price forecast to NYMEX futures prices, report, December 13, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780848/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.