All-around price increases Wednesday received support fromcontrasting weather conditions and rising power generation load(plus a tiny assist from a barely higher screen). Most upticks werein the neighborhood of 4-8 cents, although smaller ones were aslittle as two cents at the PG&E citygate.
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“Where has all the gas gone now?” asked a Houston-based marketerTuesday as April numbers turned upward going into the home stretch ofbidweek. He was starting to encounter some tightness of supplies inthe Gulf Coast and Appalachian production areas that caused prices tobe bid higher. Echoing a producer’s Friday observation (see Daily GPI, March 29), the market suspectedthat reduced drilling budgets last year may be reflected now in afirmer gas market.
Fresh after receiving a boost from a hefty storage withdrawalWednesday afternoon, natural gas futures continued higher yesterdayin yet another tumultuous trading session. And for the second dayin a row locals were seen as the catalyst, using buy stops toorchestrate a gap higher opening. But overhead resistance at $1.77held and the market was left to ebb and flow within the 4-centtrading range, which was set in the first hour of trading. TheApril contract finished up 3.9 cents to $1.762.
Bombing Iraq seemed as reasonable an explanation as any for whymost cash markets were rising in the neighborhood of a dimeWednesday. Weather was getting a little colder but still relativelymild for this time of year, so it’s not like there’s any big surgein gas demand, a marketer said. The AGA storage report of 49 Bcf inwithdrawals last week, which came too late to affect Wednesday’strading, was approximately in the middle of most expectations andthus neither bearish nor bullish.
High volatility continued in the natural gas pit Tuesday whentraders tested both sides of the market during a session that sawlittle in the way of fresh fundamental news. In the end, supportivecash prices-that were up 20 or more cents in mostlocations-provided the incentive for futures to trend higher. TheDecember contract led the way, eeking out a 4.9 cent gain to settleat $2.436 in light to moderate trading activity yesterday.
Distributed generation is poised to get a boost from the GasResearch Institute (GRI) and Architectural Energy Corp., which havedeveloped new software to evaluate the economic viability ofon-site distributed generation projects for utility customers.
The distributed power movement and alternative energytechnologies got a boost from American Gas Association (AGA)Chairman David Biegler last week in his remarks at the 17thCongress of the World Energy Council (WEC) in Houston.
The distributed power movement got a boost from American GasAssociation (AGA) Chairman David Biegler this week from remarksmade at the 17th Congress of the World Energy Council (WEC) inHouston. “Distributed power is attractive to consumers, especiallyin facilities like manufacturing plants, laundries and hospitalsthat need both electric power and thermal energy,” said Biegler,CEO of Texas Utilities. “It can cut costs, provide waste heat foron-site use and improve power quality and reliability.” Hepredicted distributed power could provide as much as 50 gigawattsof power by 2015, compared to less than 2 GW today.
With the exception of Western and Rockies delivery points,natural gas prices began the new week flat or leaning downward acouple of cents. There was support resulting from supplyconstraints in the San Juan Basin and forecasts for above normaltemperatures in the Rockies. However, cash prices for the rest ofthe country appeared to be held back by a weakening Nymex futuresscreen and moderate temperatures in major northeastern markets,sources said.