UtiliCorp United announced Monday that it has changed its corporate name to Aquila Inc., the energy trading and risk management subsidiary in which it sold an interest to the public in 2001 and then later re-acquired. The company’s common stock now trades on the New York, Pacific and Toronto stock exchanges under the symbol ILA, which has replaced the UtiliCorp symbol UCU.
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More than a few minds may have been changed Monday about the futures market turning south to possibly post new lows this spring. April blasted 22.1 cents higher to $3.021. The daily high was reached in the early afternoon at $3.040. While many are still looking for the market to backtrack later this week, some experts now say that a downturn now will be nothing more than a temporary correction possibly reaching a bottom in the $2.50s.
Moody’s Investors Service Wednesday confirmed the ratings of The Williams Companies, Inc. at Baa2 senior unsecured and its subsidiaries but changed the outlook to negative from stable. The ratings agency cited the potential bankruptcy and contingent liabilities of the company’s former subsidiary, Williams Communications Group (WCG), but noted Williams is negotiating to take over payments for WCG debt and “eliminate certain trigger events.”
It caused a political stir, but nary a megawatt changed Tuesday when California energy-buying officials turned over to the state controller seven more power contracts that cover supplies this summer. State Controller Kathleen Connell Monday expressed concerns that the state’s much-publicized long-term contracting was going to be woefully short this summer, causing billions of more dollars to be needed for spot market purchases.
UtiliCorp United announced yesterday that its wholly-ownedsubsidiary Aquila Energy has changed its name to Aquila, Inc. toreflect Aquila’s increasing participation in markets outside theenergy industry. In addition to trading natural gas and powerthroughout North America and Europe, the company entered thebroadband capacity market last year. It also offers a broad rangeof risk management products and services to its clients, includinga family of weather risk products. Aquila is a Latin word meaningeagle. It also is the name of a constellation containing the starAltair. In some cases this constellation is known as the flyingeagle.
Coastal Corp. announced that Engage Energy U.S., L.P. haschanged its name to Coastal Merchant Energy, L.P., which coincideswith the split of the Engage Energy joint venture by participantsCoastal and Westcoast Energy. Effective on Oct. 3, the operationswere divided into separate entities which are owned and operatedsolely by each company. Coastal Merchant Energy, which handles upto 3.5 Bcf/d, appointed James C. Dyer IV as president and CEO.”Coastal Merchant Energy, L.P. will continue to provide a fullspectrum of energy services, including natural gas marketing andtrading, electricity trading and sales, energy management services,structured storage and transportation-related services, structuredpower and management services, and energy risk managementservices,” said David A. Arledge, CEO of The Coastal Corp. “We willundoubtedly benefit from the further integration of our merchantactivities with Coastal’s asset-based businesses.”
The landscape of projects and programs to move Canadian gasarriving in Chicago on to the East changed again last week. KinderMorgan’s Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGPL) and TexasEastern Transmission (TETCO) are targeting the market with areciprocal capacity lease arrangement.