NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report
Shippers dabbling in the released capacity market have a newtool in the form of an Internet-based service that will alert themwhen capacity they are interested in becomes available.CapacityCenter.com this week launched a Web site that gives the gasindustry access to a database of current and historical informationfrom the released capacity market. CapacityCenter.com utilizes adatabase of gas capacity information compiled over the past fiveyears by Skipping Stone subsidiary TransCapacity.
CapacityCenter.com updates and monitors available releasedcapacity on 49 pipelines. Using the interactive Capacity Shopperfeature of the site, members can have an e-mail alert sent to themwhen capacity on a pipeline they are interested in becomesavailable. Additional features include listings of firm capacityowners and the ability to order customized reports and analysis.The site will soon include daily pipeline activity reports andsystem-wide notices delivered directly to the user’s desk.
Every pipeline has a unique electronic bulletin board (EBB) thatprovides certain information and deal-making capabilities. AtCapacityCenter.com users can get information on all pipelines inone place.
“CapacityCenter.com will enhance the natural gas community’sability to monitor the capacity markets more efficiently andproactively,” said Greg Lander, principal of Skipping Stone’stechnology solutions division. “One of the key benefits of theservice is that it continuously polls the pipelines and capturesthe capacity deal information. That information is then madeavailable to users who can utilize it to target specific pipelineparameters which fit their capacity portfolio requirements.”
The service costs $499 per month for the first person in anorganization subscribing and $199 per month for each additionalsubscriber at the same organization.
“The anecdotal evidence is that out of like 27,000 [releasedcapacity] transactions a year on all the pipelines, 85% arepre-arranged deals,” Lander said. “The remaining 15% are deals thatare open for bid. That means there is no pre-arranged party. And30% of the total deals are biddable, meaning there’s a pre-arrangedparty on the deal but they’re open…
“Looking at that 15%, [of open deals], they come one a day onone pipeline, and two a day on another pipeline, and then a weekmight go by. There are so few that are actually biddable, peopledon’t pay attention as much. What we do is we can get right to yourdesk, ‘boom, this one’s biddable. This one’s wide open.’ You canlook at that quickly and see, ‘do they have a minimum price, yes orno.’ and the most valuable ones are open deals with no minimumprice because sometimes you get that capacity for a penny.”
Lander speculated CapacityCenter could boost liquidity in thereleased capacity market. The company is going to be looking atwhether that actually happens, and Lander said a report on itsfindings could be out in several months. While the service boasts49 pipelines, more interstates could be added if users requestthem, he said.
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