As reported in Wall Street Journal

Tim Puko

A repeat of last year’s snowy, Arctic-cold winter is looking a little more likely today. Natural gas traders, still scarred by the memory, are bunkering in.

Buyers have been rushing into the gas market for a week on fears of a sequel to last winter’s Polar Vortex, which walloped the eastern half of the U.S. with brutally cold temperatures from the deep south up to New England. Many spent months dismissing that possibility as simple panic, but now meteorologists are getting more pessimistic.

Both Commodity Weather Group and WeatherBELL Analytics LLC released long-term forecasts this week showing a notably higher risk for a cold December. That was supposed to be relatively mild month this winter, balancing out a cold January and February. Now the whole winter is shaping up to be “pretty nasty,” WeatherBELL said.

That has propelled natural gas to a six-session rally. It’s rebounded nearly 18% since it hit its 2014 low last week. Gains of nearly 3% Tuesday are pushing it near a three-month high.

And traders are all wondering if the winter of 2015 will bring a repeat of 2014.

“I think it’s a reasonable risk,” said Matt Rogers president and meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md. An early season burst of cold starting next week is already “really spooking a lot of people.”

More than half of all U.S. homes use natural gas as their heating fuel, making the natural gas market especially vulnerable to weather. Tepid demand had capped the market for four months and had bankers and investors fearing a glut by the spring. The new forecasts have flipped that script, at least temporarily.

Timothy J. Collins, director at Fairfield Advisors LLC in Madison, N.J., has had to get out of spread bets that depended on falling prices in January, he said. He is now trying to buy into positions that would benefit from rising prices that month, but he still thinks that record production will help balance out the fear of a Polar Vortex repeat, he said.

“I think people are overly sensitive to it,” said Mr. Collins, whose fund manages $35 million. “You know how they say the military is always trying to fight the last war? Well, we keep trading the last position.”

The rally could produce bargains for stock investors, said Jonathan Waghorn, co-portfolio manager at Guinness Atkinson Asset Management Inc. in London. Its $84-million fund holds Chesapeake Energy Corp., QEP Resources Inc. and Ultra Petroleum Corp, among other oil and gas producers that could benefit from rising gas prices balancing out free-falling oil prices.

“Gas is strong, yet the energy equities names are all getting hit,” Mr. Waghorn said. “If you believe the gas story, today’s giving you a good opportunity to pick up some energy names getting smashed by weak oil.”

Enough Already

February 17, 2014




We did it



Last week we hit


The record books




This has been the 3rd most snow


The Philadelphia region has received


Since they started keeping records


Back in 1884



That’s 130 years ago




We are now over 55 inches


And should break the 60 inch mark


This week




Reactions have been mixed



The kids love it..



Another day off from school






This means juggling


Their schedule


To take care of the kids….



Who are now home from school




Comments run the gamut…




I don’t need any more practice


Shoveling snow




Enough already




Where’s all the people yapping about….


Global Warming




Damn groundhog




Doesn’t anyone know how to drive in this stuff




I surrender




At least the Phillies started spring training





That takes us to a brighter note




You know spring


Is around the corner


When the Phillies



Start spring training




I can feel my bones starting to thaw already




Batter Up!!!!!!


January 29, 2014

The polar vortex punch


Keeps punching



This week we saw


Temperatures plunge….


Once again



It may have been nice….


The first time around




But by now…



People seem to be getting


A little groggy



It’s time to change the channel




As I stated last week


The energy market did react


To the plunging temperatures



Basis (transportation cost) went up 1000% in 1 day



Over the past year



Basis pricing


Has been at a 10 year low



The jump in pricing


Had many experts just shaking their heads



They were finding themselves in…



Unchartered waters



This was beyond whiplash




We do not see these prices sustaining



If you look at natural gas futures


A couple months out


Prices tend to be


More reasonable




You just do not want to


Be shopping your account


And include the present month energy pricing


In the mix



For it will skew the whole proposal


And you will end up paying a premium




They say…


Patience is a virtue



In this business


You need it

Polar Vortex

January 29, 2014

Let’s take a look


At our extended weather forecast…






Tomorrow is going to be cold




The next day…


Should be just as cold



Possibly colder






The day after that…



Will probably be just as cold




However, we also show that


There could be a chance of….



Freezing rain…



It might be snow…






Possibly a Wintery Mix




This can all bring icy conditions





Let’s be careful out there






Let’s take a minute to look at



What may be causing



This weather pattern






We would be looking to the



Western Pacific




However it seems that La Nina



Is taking the winter off







We have been visited by



A polar vortex


Pushing down from the Artic




In the first two weeks of 2014



Much of the United States weathered


A cold snap of unprecedented proportions…




A weather phenomenon known as…


The “Polar Vortex”



Shattering temperature records across the country




Just when you thought it was safe


To go outside…




Another polar vortex is on the way



This one is due to hit



This week





Is this a new phenomenon?




I thought it was just cold outside




Because it is…






The energy markets


Have been in a reaction mode




Put a name on the weather conditions



And they are all in




Prices jump




You wait a day…



They jump again




You wait a few more days



Prices start to ease back down





Prices never come down…



As fast as they go up




With another polar vortex



On the way




You can almost hear



The energy market’s teeth clattering




While all this is happening




We find it best


To look past


The frenzy



One thing I have learned



Being in the energy business…


For 13 years




Patience is a virtue




Our goal has always been




To educate our clients






Provide the best opportunity



For savings





With a lower basis (transportation) cost



And increasing natural gas supplies




Most experts feel



Natural gas prices will settle down




Once again bringing



Great opportunities for savings



In both



The Natural Gas and Electric markets




We just have to wait for the Polar Vortex



To pass