Gas Attracts Huge Numbers on EnronOnline
From gas and power to clean air credits, bandwidth and plastics,
you name it, and EnronOnline now sells it, but out of the plethora
of commodities now trading on the site worldwide, North American
natural gas still tops the list of most actively traded.
The rapidly growing e-commerce site, which Enron claims is now
the world's largest with more than $50 billion in transactions so
far this year, consumes much more than 50% of Enron's wholesale
commodity transactions, including more than 10 Bcf/d of gas in the
"The highest traded commodity on EnronOnline is North American
natural gas because that's the biggest marketplace that we have in
the first place. The second [largest] market is power, and it
follows exactly the size of each of our businesses and that is
reflected in the numbers that are traded on EnronOnline," Louise
Kitchen, managing director of EnronOnline, said in an interview
with NGI last Thursday.
"We did $2.25 billion [in total transactions online] yesterday.
It's growing all the time. I think today we've done the most
transactions we've ever done, over 2,500. I think one of the
[overseas] markets just closed, like Nordic power or something like
Enron launched EnronOnline on Nov. 29, 1999, and currently more
than half of Enron's wholesale transactions are conducted online.
In its first 26 weeks, more than 130,000 transactions have been
Kitchen said EnronOnline is seeing growth on two levels. "We're
seeing growth because we are increasing the levels of efficiency in
certain markets, I believe. I think EnronOnline provides so much
price transparency and an efficient way of transacting that it does
increase those markets. U.S. natural gas would fall into that
category of increased gains and efficiencies in terms of
transactions." In terms of some of the developing markets, such as
the Belgian gas market, Kitchen said, EnronOnline provided prices
where there were none before. Since coming online Jan. 5, 2000, the
Belgian gas portion of EnronOnline has quadrupled in volume, she
Although she provided no predictions on future growth for
EnronOnline --- partly because all her previous annual predictions
were reached during the first quarter --- Kitchen said she doesn't
expect competition from the many other electronic energy trading
sites to detract from the volumes on EnronOnline. "We don't really
compete directly with those other platforms because they're all
Kitchen said the claim about being the largest e-commerce site
in the world is based on the goods transacted through the site and
the price of those goods. "We are taking the price of all
transactions times the volumes of all transactions" and they exceed
those of Amazon.com and Dell.com.
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