CMS Energy Corp.’s energy marketing business, CMS Marketing,Services and Trading (CMS-MST), has jumped on the bandwagon ofoffering municipal customers prepaid gas supply to take advantageof low municipal bond interest rates.
Articles from Business
The drop in gas load that usually accompanies a weekendreduction of business activity failed to dampen the cash market’sbullishness Friday. Though a few points (El Paso-Permian andTrunkline-South Texas) eked out only penny upticks and CIG and Wahawere essentially flat, most markets achieved gains of 3-7 cents.Influencing factors were unchanged from earlier in the week,sources said: Western cold, Southern heat, a higher screen andelectric utilities using gas in peaking units while many nuclearand coal plants are down for refueling or other maintenance.
In an effort to grow its nonregulated business sector, ColumbiaEnergy Group’s Columbia Propane Corp. recently announced a tenderoffer to acquire National Propane Partners for $80.4 million. Theoffer expires April 9. National Propane shareholders will vote inearly May.
It was business as usual last week at the New York MercantileExchange as the market continued its tug of war, pitting storagebears against bottom-seeking bulls. And just as the case has beensince the middle of 1998 when the downtrend began, it was the bearswho were dominant, pulling optimistic buyers dangerously close tothe mud in the middle. But just when even the most time-weatheredbulls were ready let go of the rope, the market managed to fumblehigher in lethargic Friday afternoon trading. The April contractfinished up 1.2 cents for the day at $1.699.
Canadian business and government energy representatives assureda Washington audience last week that the immense Canadian reservesand strong market ties between the U.S. and Canada spell long-termsupply security for U.S. consumers.
TransCanada Midstream (TCM), a business unit of TransCanadaPipeLines Ltd., bought Alberta Energy Co.’s (AEC) outstandingshares (49.995%) in PanAlberta Resources Inc. (PARI) for $35million plus about $7 million in assumed debt. PARI owns 50% of theEmpress II straddle plant and holds gas liquids extraction rightswith respect to gas volumes of Pan-Alberta Gas Ltd.
As expected, Christmas Eve was pretty much a non-event in thecash market. Virtually all holiday weekend business through todayhad been taken care of Wednesday, and though a number of tradersdid put in brief appearances at the office Thursday, they didlittle more than check what futures was doing in an abbreviatedtrading session. “We had to come in for the first half of the dayor else count it as a whole vacation day,” one marketer commented.
As an enticement to do business, Aquila Energy is sending giftsto about 2,000 large energy users as part of a $3 million-plusdirect marketing and national advertising campaign. The gifts are aphone, antique bank replica, or a weather radio and are being sentto prospects in Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, New York, Houston,Baltimore, and Washington, DC.
Traders finally got a chance to conduct business Monday for whatseemed like the first day in September with no tropical stormsimmediately threatening, disrupting or starting to move on afterhaving disrupted Gulf of Mexico production. “It was nice to have alittle window with nothing [storm-related] imminent,” one soucesaid. Cash prices reacted to what has been generally bearishfundamentals all along with declines of between a nickel and eitherside of a dime.