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Commodity Prices Lift Spectra Profits; Shale Plays Driving Growth

Spectra Energy got a boost from higher commodity prices in the second quarter, which helped the company chart a nearly 51% increase in net income. CEO Fred Fowler is looking toward existing and emerging gas shale plays to grow Spectra’s gathering and processing as well as its pipeline businesses, he said Wednesday.

August 7, 2008

Expert: Gas Market Transparency Ranks Near Equities, Currencies

While natural gas trading is near the top of the market transparency chart, right behind equities and currencies, it loses points for price inefficiency because of the large amount of indexed transactions, according to a study sponsored by the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA). The study was done by Peter Locke, associate professor at the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

October 12, 2006

Farmers’ Almanac Calls for the U.S. to See a ‘Polar Coaster’ this Winter

Offering no respite from the current tightness in the natural gas market and the off-the-chart high prices, the United States could be in for a “Polar Coaster” this winter, according to the 2006 Farmers’ Almanac.

September 14, 2005

Futures Soar, Then Dip on Bullish Storage Data

After averaging a hefty 91 Bcf a week in storage injections since April, the natural gas market fell sharply off that pace last week with a 53 Bcf refill, prompting some market observers to rethink how much the blackouts affected gas demand. Using that bullish news as an updraft, the October futures contract soared immediately to $5.08 following the 10:30 a.m. EDT report.

August 29, 2003

After the Fall, Futures Lifeless on Friday

With its intraday bar chart looking like the EKG of a cardiac arrest patient who didn’t make it, the natural gas futures market followed Thursday’s heart-stopping price drop with flat-line trading activity Friday. On its first day as prompt month at Nymex, the August contract closed 4.8 cents lower at $5.362. At 47,013, estimated volume was extremely light.

June 30, 2003

Short-Covering Lifts Futures at Close; Traders Jittery Ahead of Bush Address, Storage Report

Since becoming the prompt contract a month ago the February natural gas futures contract has exhibited a strong tendency to rebound following each and every price dip. That was again perfectly demonstrated Tuesday on the month’s penultimate trading day as market-on-close buying lifted the contract off its late afternoon low at $5.33. February closed at $5.444, up 4.8 cents for the session and 11.4 cents off its low notched just 15 minutes earlier.

January 29, 2003

After Wild Ride, Traders Ponder Next Direction

After gapping higher at the opening bell and quickly filling in a gap from the daily bar chart, natural gas futures shifted lower Wednesday as traders positioned themselves ahead of what could be another bearish storage report this morning. Although the price direction was down most of the day Wednesday, the absence of strong selling allowed the market to escape the session with a modest gain. February finished at $5.161, up 3.4 cents for the day. Volume was moderate, with an estimated 86,303 contracts changing hands.

January 9, 2003

EIA Continues to Chart Downward Spiral For Gas Prices

Although certain pockets of the country that use large amounts of gas for power generation may see some increase in natural gas prices over the next couple of months, the overall likelihood of any significant summer jump in gas prices now seems remote, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently concluded. With natural gas storage injections hitting record highs in April through June, EIA sees average wellhead prices in the third quarter continuing on a downward slope, averaging $3.40/Mcf.

July 9, 2001

Futures Fill Gap on Bullish Weather and Technicals

Formed when one day’s high is lower than an adjoining day’s low,chart gaps are a technical feature that garner plenty of marketattention. And over the last two weeks, natural gas traders havedone just that; attempting to fill the more than dime void leftbetween the $2.305 low from Dec. 30 and the $2.20 high from Jan. 4.Each day since then, they have steadily chipped away at the gap bymaking higher highs in each of the last seven trading sessions.That set the stage last Friday. Would the futures market crumbleunder the weight of sagging holiday weekend demand, or continuehigher to plug the hole up to $2.305? That question was answeredsuccinctly Friday morning when buyers, armed with fresh weatherforecasts and propelled by stop-loss buying, bid the Februarycontract 7 cents higher to a $2.322 close.

January 18, 2000

July Futures Rally Despite Cash Weakness

After a quick check lower to fill in a small chart gap, thefutures market continued higher last Friday in an abbreviated, butextremely active trading session. The July contract finished up 7.6cents to $2.358, capping a two-day, 14.8-cent advance. Estimatedvolume was 66,263.

June 1, 1999