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Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

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  • #16
    Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

    Hurray for Clean Energy- as of 1/1/09 PG&E prices go to $2.147 but there are a few Clean Energy stations in the area at 1.39 and 1.65. PG&E's price is based on gas at $7.00 per mmBTU which seems to be above current market prices (check ICE and PG&E citygate). Plus the cost of compression is about $1.20 per gge - so bring on the competition ...


    • #17
      Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

      This is more likely not market based, but strategy based. The lowering cost of gasoline has removed some of TBP's influence, so he has to show that NGV's are still a good way to go. We all know they still are, but the cost benefit has pretty much dwindled away as of late. Looks like CLNE is choosing to take a continued loss on public sales in an effort to show that CNG is cheap, until that lower price brings in more CNG vehicles, and the price goes back up.

      Remember, the first one's always free...
      1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
      2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--


      • #18
        Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

        Hopefully everyone is dropping by and updating the station information at your favorite stations. We need to keep up this concerted effort in order to keep the site current with each months price change.


        • #19
          Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

          Hi Curtis:

          Looking forward to tomorrow's radio talk show.

          Hopefully, the price of CNG fuel will be discussed on the show.

          I noticed that many Clean Energy CNG stations are now selling CNG fuel below $1.50/GGE. Evaluating the price of Southern Cal Gas' uncompressed natural gas to the CNG stations suggests that Clean Energy may be applying the $0.50/GGE excise tax credit.

          Whatever the reason for the lower CNG fuel prices, I applaud them.

          Now I'm disappointed with PG&E's NGV2 price (the CNG price at their CNG stations in Northern CA) which is at $2.18/GGE for Jan. 2009.

          I have proposed many times to US Congress to nationalize natural gas to eliminate the price manipulation from the energy commodity brokers.

          See you tomorrow.



          • #20
            Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

            I was in Germany for the holidays and gasoline has come down from around $8 / gal in the summer to about $5.50 /gal for regular. CNG at the local station was 1.02 Euro per kg which translates to $3.64 / GGE.
            I parked my car at a public lot in Speyer and when I paid a little advertisement was attached to my receipt. It was from the local gas company saying that I could drive for 1/2 price if I was using CNG.
            BTW - saving some money by not having to change the oil as often is also a big savings in Europe because a liter of normal motor oil starts at about $8.
            When I mention the high prices to the locals they just shrug their shoulders and say that's what you have to pay for the incredibly efficient public transportation systems they have.
            I personally prefer those autobahns with no speed limits.
            Had a long layover in St. Louis on the flights home and I noticed that all the shuttle buses to the parking lots and inter-terminal buses are CNG. I talked to one of the drivers and he said that the city is aggressively converting their vehicles to CNG but they don't have any infrastructure open to the public so no locals have CNG vehicles. Too bad.
            2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
            2013 Tesla Model S 85


            • #21
              Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

              I have owned 2 CNG vehicles including a 1999 bi fuel Cavalier and a 1995 Ford F-250 bi fuel truck and would be interested in building and owning a CNG fueling station anywhere in the metro L.A. area if anyone has any suggestions. Would people prefer a dedicated CNG station or a bifuel station? I am thinking of avoiding cities and prefer to locate in a county area just because of city taxes and building codes and inspections but would seriously consider all possiblities.


              • #22
                Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                What is the price of CNG if you use Phill?


                • #23
                  Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                  It depends on where you live. Some utilities (most in Ca & Ut) have a a special rate for those refueling at home. Who is your gas co? Checking on your utilities web page may reveal a link for home refueling information.

                  Once you find the information, determine if it is quoted in therms, or gge's. If it is in therms, you can use a multiplier of 1.25 times the therm price to get an approximate gge price. The actual (exact) multiplier will vary slightly depending on the source of your gas and it's BTU rating, but this is a usable average number for your purposes. Some of our more analytical types here on the board like to factor in electrical costs (a Phill is about 800 watts), depreciation, future repair costs, the DOW Jones daily average, wind direction and time of year to come up with a more "comprehensive number". Personally, I like it simple.

                  In SoCal you are looking at somewhere around $1@gge for home refueling, including electrical costs.


                  • #24
                    Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                    Minnesota and Wisconsin on Xcel Energy - $.7133gge (my june bill)


                    • #25
                      Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                      Ignoring price fluctuations, CNG pump prices appear much higher now than they will be as stations propagate. I’m hoping the collective wisdom of the forum can help shed some light.

                      One formula for computing pump price for unleaded gas is:

                      Crude price + Refining cost + Taxes + Distribution & Marketing = pump price.

                      Taxes and Distribution & Marketing costs for unleaded are currently about $.42 and $.24 respectively.
                      (varies greatly by location but close enough for now) For this analysis I assumed these costs are/will be the same for CNG.

                      To eliminate raw material and refining costs from equation I used the spot NY unleaded gas price (3.00/gal) and the natural gas hub price ($.36 / GGE).

                      This yields an unleaded gas price of $3.66 / gallon (about right) and $1.02 / GGE for CNG. (Way off. In Atlanta currently around $2.40, appears to average around $2.00 nationally)

                      CNG pumping stations are more expensive to build and operate, so jumping thru hoops to get numbers I computed an extra $.10 / GGE to get $1.12 / GGE. Still way off

                      So, there are two regulated monopolies involved in getting the gas to the pump. The interstate/intrastate pipelines and the LDCs.

                      Starting with the Interstate/intrastate pipelines I looked at city gate prices. Except for a few states like California and Hawaii, city gate prices were fairly homogeneous. I used Georgia’s at $3.49 / 1000 cubic ft. Converting to GGE as 1 GGE = 123.55 Cubic Ft, I got $.43 / GGE. $.07 more per GGE than at hub sounds about right.

                      Next to look at are the marketers and LDCs (My most likely suspect)

                      After confirming my variables and conversions, I’ll try to get the past data and plot spreads across time to ameliorate price fluctuations.

                      If a mature, properly regulated and competitive CNG market would yield prices a $1.00 less than we see in current markets, it leaves a lot of wiggle room for Natural gas prices to go up without impacting pump prices. If the LDC’s are the culprits I’m more inclined to build my CNG fueling station if I can wrangle a deal from a LDC or locate close enough to a pipeline. (Who is legally required to give me access)

                      Distribution costs for gasoline (Through shipping, rail, and truck transport) should be higher than Natural Gas (piped and more efficient) but I‘ve left that out of equation for now.

                      I’ve also left out Risk factor. Because CNG is immature for cars I will demand more profit on my station investment than for gasoline. Over time, my risk for CNG will become less than gas because I wont be exposed to supply interruptions from abroad.

                      Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated.


                      • #26
                        Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                        It may be of help to you to follow the spot prices of CE station prices in the DFW area.
                        They will not lose any money, last week CE raised their price .10 on the gge $1.99.9.


                        • #27
                          Re: Natural Gas Prices-What Consumers Should Know

                          Some factors related to the high equipment costs of CNG stations, relative to liquid fuel stations, are station maintenance and repair costs, which tend to be high relative to their liquid counterparts. When someone drives off and damages a high pressure fuel hose, you're looking at a $2000 bill, give or take. High pressure = high wear factors and repair costs... All much higher than gasoline equipmenthigh.

                          In addition to spot price, utility transmission and gate costs, you have onsite compression costs. The electricity to run a 3 phase 50 hp electric motor is a serious consideration. Add a profit factor, which for a company could be as high as a dollar a gge, or for a regulated utility may only be enough to cover their coasts. That's why there is such a wide variance in fuel prices at various stations, even within a city.

                          I doubt that the number of vehicles running on CNG, nor the number of stations serving CNG will be a price factor anytime in the near term. Transportation accounts for only about 1% of methane use. Power plants have been switching from coal, diesel and petrol to natural gas in mass due to the low and stable price of natural gas.

                          We currently have around 120 years of reachable gas deposits, with new gas bearing deposits being discovered at about the same rate as population growth. This is not factoring in new technologies, which would increase the amount of retrievable gas, nor the massive amount of methane hydrates on the ocean floor, which when factored in equates to around a 700 year supply of methane, according to an article I read several years ago.

                          Considering the intent of natural gas to be a transitional fuel, we will probably have affordable hydrogen figured out long before we run out of natural gas.
                          Last edited by Curtis; 08-24-2012, 10:56 PM.