NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report
Volume growth in the power marketing business dwarfed that ofgas with some marketers posting year-to-year increases of more than1,000% with gains of more than 100% not unusual. Total salesvolumes for the year for the top-20 gas marketers rose 17%, or 17Bcf/d, whereas for the power marketers volumes soared 103%, or935.81 million MWh, to 1,841.44 million MWh. Such leaps are notsurprising considering power marketing is a less mature businessthan gas and targets a much larger market.
“I think given the state of the industry you are likely to seesome [power] marketers continue with very significant growth rates[and] others are going to retrench because they hoped to serve anarea of the market that did not materialize,” said BenjaminSchlesinger of Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates. “I think thatthis is clearly still in what we think of as stage II of any newindustry in its growth. The first stage is the realization thatthis new market exists. The second stage is the onrush of massivenumbers of participants, and I think we’re still in that. I don’tthink we’re even near the third stage or the shakeout stage inpower marketing.”
Enron again tops the power marketers, followed by Southern Co.,Aquila Energy, Dynegy, and Duke Energy, all of which are top-10 gasmarketers. The biggest gainers on the list were Tractebel, 1,460%growth year to year; Avista Energy, 1,150%; Statoil Energy, 358%;Williams Energy, 254%; and El Paso Energy, 244%.
Southern Co. took Dynegy’s place at No. 2 while Dynegy droppedto No. 4 behind Aquila Energy, which entered the top five from No.6 in 1997. No. 4 in 1997, Vitol Gas & Electric plummeted to No.18 in 1998, losing 41% of its power volume. Vitol, which last weekwas acquired by Avista Energy, was the only power marketer todecline in volume.
Many of the big names in gas show up in power. All but eight ofthe top 20 power marketers also appear among the top 20 gasmarketers. The eight companies appearing in the power ranking butnot in gas are Entergy Power, LG&E Energy, PacifiCorp Power,Citizens Power, Statoil Energy, Avista Energy, Tractebel, andConoco Power. These companies either don’t have gas marketingoperations or didn’t sell enough gas to make the ranking.
“The savvy marketers are coming to realize that power marketingand gas marketing go hand in hand,” Schlesinger said. Consideringthree types of marketers – just gas, just power, and gas and power- Schlesinger expects growth particularly in the latter twocategories. “I think that there’s no question [power marketing is]still an emerging business in many, many respects. The niches arethere to be mined by those who are creative enough to find them andget into them.”
Joe Fisher, Houston
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