The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved a proposalby the Kansas City Board of trade to increase the number ofconsecutive Western Natural Gas contract months listed on theexchange to 36 from 18. The additional months will be listed fortrade beginning today.

KCBT President Michael Braude said the proposal was a responseto requests from industry participants who expressed a desire totrade out through longer time-frames. The industry has showngreater interest in the contract this year, building open interestto record levels in March. KCBT officials said new participants areutilizing the hedging tool, while existing players have taken ongreater positions.

KCBT Western Natural Gas futures and options were launched inAugust 1995 as a risk management tool for the Western U.S. market.The contract has a delivery point of PG&E Gas Transmission’sPermian/Waha Hub in west Texas.

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