PIRA: coal to gas fuel switch on in Asia

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that the once remote possibility of coal to gas fuel switching in Asia has emerged.

As both oil linked contracted and spot prices in Asia have plummeted, with the lagging effects of both finally starting to emerge, the once remote possibility of coal to gas fuel switching in Asia has emerged, PIRA said in its report.

In the US, the reported withdrawal of 198 BCF came in about 3-7 BCF above market consensus. On top of beating expectations, the magnitude of the draw was also impressive it was the largest weekly withdrawal on record for any week in March. Even so, the report failed to buoy NYMEX futures as underscored by the prompt contract’s downside reversal of more than 10¢ off Thursday’s session highs.

The juxtaposition of the upcoming drop in oil-indexed gas prices over the next six months and an improving fundamental outlook, in no small part due to lower spot and contract gas prices, for gas balances offers a new and somewhat quirky twist on the direction of spot gas prices in the months ahead. PIRA said that oil-indexed contracts prices will be falling in the next two quarters because of the massive drop in crude and oil products prices over the previous winter and even in the past week. The central question for buyers then becomes; can spot prices stay or drift above oil-indexed levels during storage injection season? PIRA believes this is extremely difficult to happen on a sustained basis if at all.

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Image: Tepco