IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) reported a new single-day gas trading record on its electronic exchange for over-the-counter (OTC) energy and metals products. On Tuesday, a total of 142 Bcf of gas changed hands on ICE. Physical gas trades contributed over 30 Bcf to the total. So far, ICE has averaged 80 Bcf/d in April, which is more than four times the average daily volume in the first quarter 2001. About 300 traders have traded physical and financial gas on the exchange, completing about 35,000 transactions in 2001, ICE said, adding that it has become a “dominant force in electronic trading for OTC commodity products with current market share of North American natural gas and derivatives approximating 14%.” The exchange was founded in March 2000 by leading U.S. and European financial institutions and energy and natural resource firms. Based in Atlanta, the exchange’s partners include, American Electric Power, Aquila Energy, BP, Deutsche Bank AG, Duke Energy, El Paso Energy, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Reliant Energy, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, SG Investment Banking, Mirant (formerly Southern Energy), Totalfina Elf, and Continental Power Exchange.

Consolidated Edison said it is spending $483 million this year on its electrical distribution system as part of a comprehensive program to prepare for the summer of 2001, enhance reliability and improve infrastructure. Over the next five years, the company said it would invest $2.4 billion to upgrade its electric delivery system, which serves New York City and Westchester County.

San Diego-based Sempra Energy, holding company for two of the nation’s largest utilities, reported net income of $178 million, or 88 cents/diluted share, for the first quarter, a 58% increase over the same quarter last year ($113 million, or 49 cents/share) with almost all of the increase attributable to new, nonutility businesses. Utility earnings from San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Gas companies were essentially flat. Almost half of the quarterly earnings ($86 million) was produced by Sempra’s Stamford, CT-based energy trading operation, Sempra Energy Trading, which it describes as “one of the fastest growing wholesale commodity traders in the United States.” In the first quarter, natural gas volumes for Sempra Energy Trading were 12.2 Bcf/d, up 51% from the same quarter in 2000; electricity volumes were 18 billion kWh, an increase of 154% from the same period last year; and crude oil and liquid products were 2.4 million barrels/d, up 14% from last year’s first quarter. All of the other nonutility businesses showed profits for the first time, and Sempra Energy now said it anticipates overall 2001 annual earnings to be around $2.50/share, compared to earlier estimates at the $2.20/share range.

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