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.
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Petrominerals Corp. of Foothills Ranch, CA, completed theacquisition of a 25% interest in a gas field in southwest Wyoming.Current production from the field is 700 Mcf/d (155 Mcf/d net) fromtwo active wells. The company has committed to participate in thedrilling of two additional wells by year-end and has identified twoshut-in wells it plans to return to production later in the year.
Adding to the price erosion that began last Tuesday, natural gasfutures tumbled lower at the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday asunsupportive cash market values met with heavy local selling.However, when a second wave of selling failed to materialize,speculative traders were forced to cover shorts into the closeyesterday, sources said. The August contract finished at $2.144,down 1.9 cents on the day.
Feeding off positive momentum from Wednesday’s active tradingsession, natural gas futures trundled higher yesterday as tradersgauged the persistent issues of storage and weather. And while thatfollow-through was enough to boost the prompt January contract up7.4 cents to $2.064 for the day, 4 cents of that was notched in theWednesday night Access session, leaving some bulls to suggest thatyesterday’s movement was disappointing.
The market wasted little time retracing Thursday’s losses inactive trading on Friday by gapping higher on the open beforeexploding upward amid growing concerns of more supply disruptionsdue to storms in the Gulf and Atlantic. The October contract spikedas high as $2.35 on a wave of panicked buying early in theafternoon on Friday as traders were already facing supplyinterruptions associated with Tropical Depression 8. However, byearly afternoon traders were shifting their concern to the lessimminent, but potentially more severe Georges still located in theAtlantic. That allowed traders to take profits ahead of the weekendand October to slip lower. October finished up 12.2 cents to $2.26.
The New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) reported a fairlyactive first day of trading for the eastern electricity futurescontracts on Friday, with a total volume of 939 contracts traded.This, however, was 282 fewer contracts than the number tradedduring the first day of the western electricity contracts in 1996,a Nymex official said.
The futures screen may have been active Thursday but it waspretty quiet in the incremental cash market, a Houston trader said.Most points were flat to a bit softer, with the biggest drops ofabout a nickel or more occurring in the markets that had alreadybeen weak in the previous couple of days: the Rockies andCalifornia. Northeast citygates in Transco’s Zone 6 managed to ekeout small gains.
The May Nymex contract lost 2.1 cents to $2.501 Wednesday amidone of the most active non-expiration days in exchange history. Anestimated 93,649 contracts changed hands, many of which were tradedafter May fell back from its new all-time high trade of $2.56. “Mayhad pretty good resistance at $2.58, but I think funds were anxiousto take profits,” an analyst told GPI.