The New York Mercantile Exchange said it set daily volume records for natural gas, heating oil and RBOB gasoline futures on the CME Globex electronic trading platform Wednesday. The new gas futures totals broke a record set just one day earlier. Natural gas futures trading on Globex on Wednesday reached a record 137,562 contracts, exceeding the 130,627 contracts traded on Tuesday. Heating oil futures totaled 72,676 contracts, surpassing the 63,577 contracts traded on Jan. 12. And RBOB gasoline futures traded 52,032 contracts, beating the 49,969 contracts traded on Jan. 9. Globex trading volumes now regularly represent more than 70% of the total physically settled Nymex energy futures contracts. Nymex launched its physically settled futures contracts for trading on Globex during regular open outcry trading hours on Sept. 5, 2006, following its initial offering of financially settled, standard-sized and miNY energy futures contracts for trading on Globex on June 12.
Inergy announced that its regulated subsidiary, Central New York Oil and Gas Co. LLC, has completed the previously announced $35 million purchase of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s Line 300 (Stagecoach Lateral), which extends from Inergy's central compression facility in Tioga County, NY, to Tennessee's Station 319 in Bradford County, PA. The pipeline was placed in service by Tennessee in January 2002, and it has a certificated capacity of 500 MMcf/d. Inergy also plans to connect the Stagecoach storage field to the Millennium Pipeline when it becomes operational in November 2008, which will allow the company to provide wheeling or hub services through its storage facility with multiple delivery points. Stagecoach storage is being expanded to 27.2 Bcf of working gas capacity from its current 13.6 Bcf. The expansion is expected to be completed in September.
Talisman subsidiary Fortuna Energy Inc. started production from a large Appalachian Basin gas well and recently tested high rates from a second well in the basin in New York. Initial production from the two wells combined is expected to be 30 MMcf/d (gross sales gas). The Hulett K 1 well was drilled vertically, then steered horizontally across a newly defined graben structure within the Upper Black River formation. Fortuna has a 68% interest in the well and is the operator. The well is currently flowing at 15 MMcf/d with a flowing pressure of 2,800 psi. The second well, Dzybon A 1, was recently tested at rates of 6 MMcf/d with a flowing pressure of 2,800 psi and initial production from this well is also expected to be in the range of 15 MMcf/d. Pipeline construction is expected to commence after all regulatory approvals are obtained, with production planned for the second quarter of 2007. Fortuna has an active exploration and development program planned for 2007 with a budget of US$120 million, and the company plans to drill or participate in 25 Trenton Black River wells. The company currently is producing 112 MMcf/d.
Enstor is holding a binding open season for firm gas storage capacity at its Alberta Hub, Grama Ridge and Katy storage facilities from Feb. 1 through March 16. The company's proposed Waha Storage Hub, which is expected to enter service in April 2009 with 9.5 Bcf of working gas capacity, is not included in the open season. Enstor said demand for storage has steadily risen with the increase in volatility and uncertainty in the natural gas market. The company noted that the 73% price plunge last year from $15.378/MMBtu high on Dec. 13, 2005 to $4.201 on Sept. 27, 2006 left many market participants at risk for large financial losses. The need to hedge in such an uncertain climate is vital. "Natural gas storage is a hedge against volatility," said Enstor Operating Co. president Matt Morrow. "Customers have the option to inject or withdraw at any time based on market activity. Firm storage provides hundreds of hedging and arbitrage possibilities to customers in all market segments." Enstor's Katy Storage Hub is interconnected with 13 pipelines and has 21 Bcf of working gas capacity with 700 MMcf/d of deliverability. Its Grama Ridge facility is located in southeast New Mexico and is interconnected with the El Paso pipeline in the Keystone pooling area. Grama Ridge has 6 Bcf of capacity and deliverability of 125,000 MMBtu/d. The Alberta Hub on TransCanada's Alberta System has 40 Bcf of storage capacity and 450 MMcf/d of deliverability. For details on the open season contact Theresa Branney at (281) 374-3078.
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