Friday, May 22, 2020

Energy 135, Oil, gas and coal prices

Highest oil price was recorded on June 02, 2008 at $142/barrel (WTI), then April 01, 2011 at $115/barrel. Then last month we saw a seemingly unthinkable price, -$26/barrel, with intra-day low of around -$40 last April 21, 2020.

The reason was the absence of enough storage. Traders with supply contracts few weeks ahead could not find any storage for the oil pumped out as all tankers, storage houses were full because of the big slump in global oil demand. Blame the Covid hysteria and lockdown dictatorship in many countries.

Natural gas peak price over the last 25 years was $14/MMBtu (million British thermal unit) reached on September 01, 2005, then $13.6 on June 02, 2008. And last month we saw steep decline to $1.55, April 03, 2020.

For coal, its highest price in the last 10 years was $133/MT reached on January 03, 2011. Its lowest price in recent years was $51.5 last April 27, 2020.

All three charts above as of around 10:30pm today, Manila time.

With low gas prices, is it true that it's now more cost-effective than coal in power generation?

From this chart, the answer is No.

Economies and corporations, power producers and consumers, should be left alone in the market in determining what's the best energy mix for them. Climate alarmism and anti-fossil fuel drama should not be factors in achiving energy security and economic recovery after the prolonged lockdowns due to the Wuhan virus scare.

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