FERC commissioners last week finalized revisions to rules foroff-the-record communications between commissioners and key staffand persons outside the Commission. Chairman James Hoecker said thenew rule (Order No. 607) provides a balance that “will supply theclarity and precision we need. They should facilitate better accessto information while ensuring the integrity of our processes.”
Articles from Advance
As presaged Tuesday by late retrenchment in cash quotes and ascreen drop that carried over into Access trading, the cash marketwas in full retreat Wednesday. All points were off by at least anickel or so, and most of the decreases were around a dime. In whatwas described often as quiet trading, the softening Henry Hubfutures contract for June was the only significant influence oncash that sources could cite.
“It was like a bad dream,” was one marketer’s summation ofWednesday’s 4-cent decline that was quickly recouped by yesterday’s4.1-cent advance. Another trader was a little more specific,attributing the downward blip to funds rolling positions from Mayto June. But regardless of the rationale, Wednesday’s lowersettle-the first one in the last seven sessions-looked like theGrand Canyon nestled among the Alps.
Fresh off Wednesday’s advance the futures market looked poisedto continue higher Thursday as early buying prompted the market upat the open. However, a 25-cent gain in two days was more than eventhe greediest of bulls could handle, and the market reacted bytrending down. That left the November contract with a 1.9 cent lossto settle at $2.414 at the final bell.
Chevron and its Project Genesis partners made the first movetoward positioning the 28,700-ton hull of the Genesis drilling andproduction platform in waters 2,600 feet deep in the Gulf ofMexico, 150 miles south of New Orleans. Project teams from ChevronUSA Production, Exxon, PetroFina, and contractors last weekup-righted the 705-foot cylindrical steel hull, which will be thefoundation for the entire platform. The hull arrived by barge fromFinland earlier this year and was floated into position from itslaunch site in Ingleside, TX.
A last-minute protest by Scana Energy Marketing to a requestedwaiver by Atlanta Gas Light to allow assignment of some of itsupstream pipeline capacity as part of the Georgia unbundling planmay have been a factor in derailing FERC action last week.
Backers of Alliance Pipeline Project are going out on a bigfinancial limb by spending heavily to advance the proposed newCanadian export route to Chicago while still awaiting approval fromthe National Energy Board. Alliance president Dennis Cornelsonreported the international consortium of pipelines and producershas spent about C$200 million (US$145 million) to date. But to keepthe project moving quickly enough to fulfill its schedule, thegroup “will have to double that by the time regulatory approvalsare obtained.”