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Pipeline Capacity Market Ending Another Boom Year

The total volume of pipeline capacity traded by the top 20 gas pipeline capacity trading players was up 106% this year over 2012 volumes, surpassing 15.8 Bcf/d, according to Skipping Stone's Capacity Center. It marks the fourth consecutive annual increase in the volume of capacity traded, according to the firm.

In the firm's previous report, capacity trading activity was reported to be up 123% in 2012 over 2011 levels (see Daily GPI, Dec. 3, 2012).

Although the total number of entities (481) participating in buying released capacity showed a slight decline from 2012, the nearly 27 Bcf/day, traded on a daily equivalent basis through September 2013, represents a nearly 10% increase from the 24.5 Bcf/d traded over the same period in 2012.

For a fifth consecutive year, Tenaska repeated as the No. 1 capacity trading company, increasing its daily equivalent capacity traded to just shy of 3.7 Bcf/d, up from 3.45 Bcf/d in 2012. The Top five are rounded out by Sequent Energy Management, BP plc and Amerada Hess repeating as No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 respectively, and ProLiance Energy/ETP (a unit of Energy Transfer Partners), moving up 147 spots into the No. 5 spot. No. 1 Tenaska traded 203% more volume than second place Sequent. Taken together, the two firms accounted for just over 20% of all daily equivalent traded capacity and roughly 5% of the more than 32,400 trades occurring in the first nine months of the year.

Hess Corp. said earlier this year that it would exit the marketing and trading business (see Daily GPI, March 5). Last month, Hess completed the sale of its energy marketing business to Centrica PLC subsidiary Direct Energy. Indianapolis-based ProLiance Energy was sold to Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners in June.

"In 2013 we saw two key capacity trading trends," said Capacity Center President Greg Lander. "First, we saw the continuing growth in capacity trading volume levels on a year-over-year basis. The second trend indicates a huge change in the firms occupying the fifth through 11th spots. Newcomers to the top 20 were Proliance/ETP (up 147 places), Concord Energy (up 56 places), Louis Dreyfus (up 56 places), Exelon non-regulated (up 100 places), NJR Energy Services (up 32), and Infinite Energy (up 5). Returning to the Top 20 after a year away were EDF (up 12) and Atmos non-regulated (up 37)."

In 2013, 59% of all non-affiliate deals were traded by the Top 20, a decrease from the 60% traded by the Top 20 last year and the 66% traded in 2011. In addition, the top five have also reduced their concentration of the capacity trading market with 57% of the deal flow among the top 20 traders, down from 63% in 2012 and just about back to the 2011 level of 56%, Lander said.

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