NFG said in their February 4 investor presentation that the 490 MMcf/d Northern Access 2016 project will be delayed by a full year to a November 2017 in-service date. The project is solely subscribed by NFG's subsidiary Seneca Resources, where 350 MMcf/d of capacity is aimed for the Chippawa interconnect with TransCanada and 140 MMcf/d for the East Aurora interconnect with TGP's 200 line. The expansion is part of a joint development agreement between Seneca and IOG CRV-Marcellus Capital, LLC made on December 2, 2015 for Elk, McKean, and Cameron counties, PA. The project is called the West Development Area in north-central PA and has plans for a total of 80 wells, 42 of which are the partner's initial obligation, and adding an incremental 0.5 Bcf/d of capacity on NFG gathering systems and expansion projects such as Northern Access 2015 and 2016. NFG filed with FERC (CP15-115) on February 5 for the revised in-service date and said slowed drilling activity from Seneca prompted the delay. Bentek will likely revise down outflows to Canada, which were expected to average 470 MMcf/d in the fourth quarter, up 500 MMcf/d from a net inflow of 170 MMcf/d in Q4 2015.
Total US supply increased by roughly 0.5 Bcf/d, with a 0.4 Bcf/d rise in Canadian imports and 0.2 Bcf/d of higher LNG sendout offsetting a slight production decline in both the Northeast and Midcon Producing regions. Cash prices were up across the board on rising demand, which increased by 6.4 Bcf/d day-on-day. Colder weather boosted ResComm demand by 3 Bcf/d in the Midcontinent and by a combined 1.9 Bcf/d in the Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions. Power burn is also up 1.4 Bcf/d, driven largely by a 0.4 Bcf/d gain in both the Southeast and Texas. Total demand is expected to increase by an additional 2.3 Bcf/d for Wednesday's gas day, with an incremental 3.7 Bcf/d of demand in the Midcon, Northeast and Southwest offsetting a roughly 1.5 Bcf/d decline spread across the Southeast, Rockies and Texas.
California industrial-scale solar capacity could increase by roughly 50% by the end of the year, based on 3.3 GW of new capacity Bentek is tracking with expected completion dates in 2016. Only 274 MW is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter, while another 491 MW is expected to be completed in Q2, based on Bentek’s North American Power Plant Databank. This leaves a total of 765 MW of new capacity coming online ahead of the peak solar season, with the remaining nearly 2.6 GW coming online late in the year. The capacity coming online over the first half of the year has the potential to remove about 60 MMcf/d of gas demand, based on summer solar utilization around 40% and assuming it would replace gas-fired power plants with a heat rate of 8.5. SunPower’s 106-MW Quito Solar Project and 73 MW split between three Redwood Solar Farms sites came online in January, the first of planned 2016 projects to commence commercial operation.