Within days of its decision earlier this month to drop a preliminary proposal for a coastal liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in northern California, a Calpine Corp. official indicated the company continues to talk with all of the major LNG proponents in North America.
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Because forest fires are currently active around TransCanada’s mainline Compressor Station 60 in northern Ontario, as a precaution the pipeline will not operate the Station 60 units until the situation improves. TransCanada said it does not anticipate the need for transportation restrictions unless changes in operational conditions or nomination levels require them.
It was an active week for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which agreed to a major settlement with El Paso Corp. over charges of gas price manipulation (see related story) and sued a former PG&E Energy Trading natural gas trader, Christopher Chapman of East Brunswick, NJ, for fraud. The CFTC ordered Chapman to pay a $240,000 fine last Tuesday.
Alberta’s First Nation and Metis aboriginal groups are signaling a more active participation in Canada’s energy exploration and development, after signing an agreement Tuesday with Lakota Drilling to transfer the ownership and eventually the full operatorship of three heavy-duty drilling rigs. Collectively, the aboriginal groups will eventually invest a total of C$13.5 million toward the overall purchase cost of the rigs, and EnCana Corp. has made a minimum four-year drilling commitment at competitive rates to ensure that the rigs are fully engaged.
Last week was an active one for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The staff heading up the agency’s three-month probe into price-manipulation activities widened its inquiry to include questionable “wash” trading transactions, targeting natural gas and power suppliers in Texas and western energy markets. At the same time, it was inundated with energy suppliers’ almost-blanket denials that they used apparently deceptive Enron-style trading practices in California and other western markets during the critical 2000-2001 period.
In sympathy with its petroleum complex brethren, and amid concerns that it is not too late in the season to suffer hurricane-related production loss, natural gas futures shuffled higher Monday, after a disappointing opening trade threatened to take the prompt month to new lows. November finished the session at $2.27, 4.3 cents higher for the day and 13 cents above its Oct. 1 lows.
Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line had an active day yesterday filing two applications with FERC to expand its eastern pipeline system. Its Momentum expansion project would add 526,000 Dth/d of firm capacity from Station 65 in Louisiana to markets in Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, and its Leidy East project would make up for the failed Phase III portion of its MarketLink expansion.
Cabot LNG, currently the only active liquefied natural gas importer on the East Coast, has entered into a second 20-year charter agreement with Norwegian shipping giant Bergesen for a 138,000 cubic meter LNG carrier. Cabot’s first carrier agreement was completed in November 2000 and both vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2003.
The CEO of one of the most active drillers in North America —EOG Resources Inc. — said last week that he expects the next “bigslug of supply” will come from Alaska and the Beaufort Sea, but notuntil a pipeline is in place there, and not until producers canfill the pipelines with gas.
The New York Mercantile Exchange’s (Nymex) natural gas pitprobably will be a lot more active on Wednesdays, starting March 1.The exchange, along with several major market players, hasconvinced the American Gas Association to move up by two hours therelease of its influential gas storage report.