CALGARY, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians can expect to pay about the same
for gasoline this summer as last summer, while the price of natural gas
could see an increase along with electricity prices, depending on where
you live, said the National Energy Board (NEB or Board) today in its
latest Summer Energy Outlook.
This summer the Board is predicting the price of West Texas Intermediate
to average between US$90 and US$100 per barrel, while the price of
Brent (the North Sea benchmark crude) is forecast to average between
$100 and US$110 per barrel. The Canadian price for regular gasoline
will average between $1.20 and $1.30 per litre this summer, similar to
last summer's average Canadian price of $1.27 per litre.
Large commercial inventories of crude oil and petroleum products in the
United States (U.S.), Japan and Europe; growing non-OPEC (Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) supply; and sluggish global
economic growth are the contributing factors for the expected stable
crude oil markets over the outlook period of May to September. However,
ongoing geopolitical tensions, particularly in the Middle East and
North Africa, could affect supply and lead to higher crude oil prices.
For electricity, all provinces should expect adequate supply this
summer. Ontario wholesale on-peak prices are forecast to range between
$35 and $45 per megawatt hour (MW.h), slightly higher than the
five-year low average price of $29 MW.h observed last summer. On-peak
prices in Alberta are expected to be higher this summer, averaging
between $95 and $105 per MW.h, up from last summer's average price of
$86 per MW.h. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland saw electricity rate increases earlier this year, and as a
result, these provinces are not expecting higher prices for the
Natural gas prices this summer will be higher than last summer,
averaging between $3.25 and $3.75 per gigajoule at the Intra-Alberta
hub and between US$4.00 and US$4.50 per million British thermal units
at Henry Hub. Prices are anticipated to increase from last summer's low
gas prices due to average storage inventories at the start of the
storage injection season (April) and slower growth in natural gas
production. However, forecasts for natural gas prices this summer are
still below recent historical summer averages.
Coal-to-gas switching in electricity generation in the U.S. this summer
is expected to occur at a slower pace than last summer. Despite
expectations for a warmer than average summer, the possibility of
higher natural gas prices this summer could affect the economics of gas
versus coal for electricity generation.
Natural gas production in Canada and the U.S. averaged 79.9 billion
cubic feet (Bcf) per day in 2012 and this level of production is
expected to remain steady for the next six months, despite decreasing
drilling activity. Liquefied natural gas imports into North America are
forecast to be modest, averaging 0.5 Bcf per day over the outlook
period. Heading into the summer, combined natural gas storage
inventories in Canada and the U.S. are expected to be below last year's
record levels, but remain within the five-year range.
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several
parts of Canada's energy industry with the safety of Canadians and
protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to
regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public
This news release is available on the NEB's Internet site at www.neb-one.gc.ca under What's New!
SOURCE: National Energy Board
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