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Nymex Extends Force Majeure to October 2005 Natural Gas Contract

The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (Nymex) said last week that its prior declaration of force majeure relating to all remaining delivery obligations in the September 2005 Nymex Division natural gas futures contract will continue to remain in effect. In addition, the exchange has determined to declare force majeure for the October 2005 natural gas contract, which expired last Wednesday.

Nymex's force majeure declaration for delivery obligations in these contract months was made in the context of the continuing force majeure declaration by Sabine Pipe Line LLC, the operator of the Henry Hub facility near Erath, LA (see related story).

"At this time, the exchange anticipates a lifting of the force majeure declaration at the Henry Hub facility in October 2005," Nymex said. "With regard to such a lifting Nymex presently plans to extend the delivery period an appropriate amount of time pursuant to Nymex rules."

The October 2005 natural gas futures contract terminated Wednesday as per standard procedures. "Any party that ultimately maintains a delivery position in the October 2005 contract through termination will be required to nominate volumes and complete its obligations within the month of October commencing immediately with the lifting of the force majeure condition by Sabine."

Nymex noted that it reserves the right under its rules to revisit the timing of delivery depending principally upon the actual timing during October of termination of Sabine's and Nymex's force majeure declarations. The exchange reiterated that all parties have available now, as always, the ability to mutually agree to execute an alternative delivery procedure pursuant to Nymex rule 220.17(A) for the September 2005 delivery obligations.

In other Nymex news, the exchange reported that a seat on the Nymex Division sold last Tuesday for a record $2.85 million, surpassing the $2.8 million record sale on September 23, 2005. Ownership of a seat on the Nymex Division also represents a share of common stock in Nymex Holdings, Inc.

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