The New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) said Friday it has determined to make a finding of force majeure with respect to all remaining delivery obligations in the September natural gas futures contract effective as of Thursday’s declaration by Sabine Pipeline. The exchange said any further action will be undertaken pursuant to its authority as set forth in NYMEX rule 220.18, in particular rule 220.18 section (C)(6).

In a recorded message, Sabine Pipe Line said, “Due to Hurricane Rita, we are not accepting intraday nominations for gasday 22 and we are not accepting timely nominations for gasday 23-forward until further notice.”

The exchange had been advised that Sabine Pipeline, which operates the Henry Hub facility in Louisiana, had implemented a pipeline shutdown Thursday and also had issued a force majeure declaration that became effective Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Central time.

“All parties have available now, as always, the ability to mutually agree to execute an alternative delivery procedure pursuant to Nymex rule 220.17(A) for the September 2005 delivery obligations,” the Exchange said.

In addition, Nymex said that if it is necessary it will consider any appropriate decisions and actions pursuant to the rules regarding any upcoming obligations in the October 2005 natural gas futures contract as conditions at the Henry Hub are evaluated. The exchange said it continues to monitor the situation and will update accordingly.

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