The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service(MMS) is beginning its third royalty-in-kind (RIK) pilot, puttingit in the business of selling Gulf of Mexico (GOM) gas productionit accepts in place of cash royalties. The pilot is intended totest a different approach to RIK, using a competitive auction tomove up to 260 MMBtu/d initially.
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Although the E&P software and services business is abillion-dollar-a-year industry, more than half of the world’sgeoscientists are not using currently available computer technologyto evaluate prospects, according to Bob Stevenson, president ofE&P software provider Geographix, a Houston-based subsidiary ofLandmark Graphics.
UtiliCorp United energy marketing subsidiary Aquila Energylaunched The Exchange Center, a new business to offer customersaccess to gas storage and transportation without the need fortraditional service contracts. “We are in a unique position tooffer services that provide utilities, end users and marketingcompanies the ability to meet their commercial and operationalobjectives in a more cost-effective, market-responsive manner,”said Robert Poehling, Exchange Center senior vice president.
Two top-10 national energy marketers, Aquila Energy and EngageEnergy, started doing business July 29 in California on EnergyMarketplace, the retail natural gas and electricity Internetshopping center operated by Southern California Gas Co. Decliningto provide dollar or transaction volume statistics on the nearlytwo-year-old site, the nation’s first retail energy Internetshopping site, a SoCalGas spokesperson would only say that thereare other major announcements regarding Energy Marketplace that arepending and should be made in the near future.
The performance of Dynegy’s gas liquids business during thesecond quarter indicates the market is finally making aturn-around. Operating income from the liquids division grew 41% to$54.9 million, Dynegy reported. Its power marketing and generationdivision, including operating margin and equity earnings from jointventure power projects, also showed continued improvement with 28%growth in operating income to $56.8 million. But gas marketingsuffered a 31% decline in operating income to $21.8 millionprimarily because of “weak market conditions” in Europe, thecompany said. Dynegy posted a 19% increase in net income during thesecond quarter to $28 million compared with $23.4 million in 2Q98.It sold a total of 9.2 Bcf/d of gas (6.1 Bcf/d domestically), upfrom 8.2 Bcf/d in 2Q98, and sold 17.4 million MWh of power, down40% from the 28.9 million MWh sold in 2Q98. Dynegy also showed ahigh retail marketing loss of $2.4 million compared with $600,000in 2Q98 because of the expansion of its SouthStar retail marketingalliance with AGL Resources and Piedmont Natural Gas in Georgia.SouthStar markets gas under the name Georgia Natural Gas and hasbuilt one of the largest market shares in Georgia. Dynegyattributed the mounting losses to increased advertising inpreparation for the Oct. 1 deadline for retail customers to switchto buying gas from marketers.
Putting more emphasis its core business, Crystal Oil Co. changedits name recently to Crystal Gas Storage Inc. The company owns andoperates two natural gas storage facilities near Hattiesburg, MSand owns interests in other natural gas properties in Louisiana.
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Reliant Energy signed afive-year business alliance to evaluate the development of up to2,400 MW of new power generation, while partnering on retailmarketing operations in the Mid-Atlantic states.
Enbridge Inc., a Calgary-based energy transportation anddistribution company, entered the midstream business last week withthe purchase of a 35% share in AltaGas Inc., a Calgary-basedmidstream gas company, for $160 million. The deal is expected toclose in September.
Enbridge Inc., a Calgary-based energy transportation anddistribution company, entered the midstream business yesterday withthe purchase of a 35% share in AltaGas Inc., a Calgary-basedmidstream gas company, for $160 million. The deal is expected toclose in September.