Profit-Taking Takes Bite Out of Recent Advances

Following Thursday’s remarkable 27-cent spike, natural gasprices eased Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange as tradersrolled out of near-month October contracts in favor of wintermonths. While the October contract finished down 6.7 cents, theloss was much less severe for November, which closed down 1.5cents. December and January 2000 contracts resisted the downturnaltogether, notching gains of 4 cents and 2.2 cents respectively.

September 27, 1999

Futures Finish Lower Following Wide Price Swings

Adding to late session advances made in both regular and Accesstrading sessions Tuesday, natural gas futures pressed higheryesterday morning as local traders bid the market to fresh highs.However, once above the $3.10 level, the buying dried up openingthe opportunity for an aggressive sell-off that ushered the promptmonth lower in the afternoon. The September contract slipped 2.9cents to $3.03 after notching a $2.995 low.

August 26, 1999

Prices Tack On a Little Extra to Weekend Gains

The cash market began the week by posting small advances Mondayon top of what was considered abnormally strong Friday pricing fora lower-demand weekend. The new increases were small, though,rarely getting above 4 cents, and some points registered as flat.

May 18, 1999

Gulf Growth to be Tempered by Prices, Depletions

Despite advances in drilling technology that tripled the waterdepth record for gas and oil production to 5,376 feet in 1997,near-term gas production may suffer because of low 1998 gas pricesdue in part to the crude oil price collapse.

March 10, 1999

ScottishPower, PacifiCorp Merger Advances

ScottishPower and PacifiCorp jointly announced that their Dec.7, 1998 merger plan gained a large boost Tuesday when the FederalTrade Commission (FTC) waived the 30-day waiting period under theHart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law.

February 17, 1999

Sempra’s Billion Dollar Mexican Supply Project Advances

Mexico’s Comision Reguladora de Energa (CRE) granted a permitto Transportadora de Gas Natural de Baja California, a subsidiarycompany of U.S.-based Sempra Energy International, for transportinggas to the Presidente Juarez thermoelectric station in Rosarito,Baja California. The pipeline is part of a ten-year gas supplycontract valued at close to a billion dollars. Enova and PacificEnterprises (now combined to form Sempra) won the bid for gas tosupply the generating station. The projected 30-inch diameterpipeline will span 23 miles and is designed to operate with acompression capacity of 810 MMcf/d and operative capacity of 270MMcf/d.

January 11, 1999

Futures Shrug Off Freezing Temperatures

All the ingredients were present for natural gas futures tocontinue higher yesterday: momentum from last week’s advances,single digit temperatures in much of the West and Midwest and achart gap that was “just waiting to be filled.” But all of thosefactors, plus the official start of winter, were no match for theoverabundance of stored gas. After a brief attempt at last week’shighs the market came under strong selling pressure on Monday. Theprompt January contract slipped 12.7 cents to settle at $1.947.

December 22, 1998

Futures: Late Softening Trims Early Advances

Although it was nowhere near as dramatic as the price move thatdeposited prices near all-time winter lows, last week’s futuresgains-slowly and steadily-were gaining the attention and acceptancefrom both technical and fundamental traders. And despite a largestorage surplus and continued uncertainty about winter weather, ifprices are able to trend higher into the New Year, the market willlook back at last week’s rebound as the end of the downtrend. Theprompt January contract chopped higher Friday, making daily highsby noon before softening into the closing to finish up a penny at$2.074.

December 21, 1998

Avista Advances on the Northwest

Continuing the attack on the northwest U.S. electric generationmarket, Avista Energy Canada, a Washington Water Power (WWP)affiliate, announced Wednesday the acquisition of Coast PacificManagement Inc., a gas manager for industrials throughout BritishColumbia. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the WWPaffiliate did say that Coast Pacific would be incorporated into itsVancouver operations. The deal became effective at the time of theannouncement.

December 17, 1998

Mitch-No-Match for Futures Profit-Taking

The futures market retraced advances tallied Monday and thensome yesterday as traders discounted the threat of Hurricane Mitch.Profit taking by all segments of the market was the feature of theday. Only the final bell could stop the price erosion that left theNovember contract down 19 cents to settle at $2.108.

October 28, 1998