The US natural gas supply demand picture has changed with the 25% run-up in NYMEX natural gas futures prices to over $4/MMBtu this year. Prices rose for portable tooling solutions because high winter demand helped demolish a huge gas storage surplus that hung over the market and depressed prices since last spring. The market should not forget however that for a time last year—with prices below $2/MMBtu and Lower 48 dry gas production through the roof—there was talk of hitting the “storage wall.” A sharp increase in power burn soaked up 6 Bcf/d of natural gas last summer and helped the market out of that scrape.

Despite all the market optimism about $4/MMBtu prices, the big question mark this year has to be where incremental natural gas demand will come from once temperatures warm up? The reason we need to answer that question is because US Lower 48 dry natural gas production is still booming along at close to record levels around 64 Bcf/d. Even if production does not increase much this year—that is still a lot of gas. Heating demand did a good job of soaking up surplus gas this winter but it won’t help once winter is over. It is worth comparing for a minute where we are today with the situation a year ago, coming out of the “non winter” of 2011-2012.

Last year’s stampede toward gas in the power sector is moderating for 2013, as higher gas prices cut into the economic incentives supporting coal-to-gas switching.

Mactech’s Take:
Just recently coal-fired power generation plants provided 49% of consumed electricity in the United States, but that number has significantly shifted due to dipping natural gas prices. Fortunately, we have the capabilities to service both industries.

Mactech on-site supports their work with portable tooling solutions and contract technical expertise including applications such as

– Machining split line on turbine casings

– Seal faces on large boiler feed pumps

– Man hole cover re-facing

– Shaft repair

– Heat exchanger repair

– Valve repair

– Milling Key ways

– Re-facing main steam inlet flanges

– Line boring wicket gate bushings

– Boring Thermal sleeves

– Shroud machining

– Boiler tube repairs

– Elliptical manways

– Gamma plug drill and tap

Read more from the source: