The November natural gas futures contract closed down 3.1 centsyesterday at $2.824 after trimming gains notched earlier in thesession. After a spirited sell-off in Tuesday’s Access trading, thenewly crowned prompt month erupted higher Wednesday to print a$2.94 high as buyers picked up contracts which they hope willrepresent bargains heading into the winter heating season. Byafternoon, however, the market banter had turned once again tobearish storage predictions and that pressured the market lower inlight trade.
Articles from Closed
Enron Oil & Gas (EOG) closed the share exchange to establishEOG as an independent company yesterday. Under the exchange, which wasannounced last month, Enron Corp. exchanged 62.27 million of its 82.27million shares of EOG common stock for EOG’s China and Indiaoperations (see story July 21). EOG alsocontributed $600 million to an India subsidiary that has beentransferred to Enron. In addition, EOG issued 27 million shares at$22.25 per share and received net proceeds of $578.3 million. Pendingcompletion of another convertible stock offering, Enron’s remaininginterest in the company will be less than 3%. EOG will soon adopt anew name EOG Resources Inc. Forrest E. Hoglund, EOG chairman, whoannounced his planned retirement in Sept. 1998, retired effectiveAug. 15. Mark G. Papa, formerly president and CEO, was electedchairman and CEO. Edmund P. Segner III, formerly vice chairman andchief of staff, was elected president and chief of staff.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. of Dallas closed a $62.3 millionsale of South Texas gas properties to CNG Producing Co. Proceedswill retire bank debt. Pioneer also agreed to sell a West Texasproperty for $35 million to EnerQuest Oil & Gas of Midland, TX.The property is the last waterflood field operated by Pioneer.Selling the higher-cost field cuts Pioneer’s operating costs. Thetransaction is scheduled to close by the end of the third quarterwith a Jan. 1, 1999 effective date. Pioneer announced the propertysales in June. Pioneer property divestitures in Canada areprogressing as expected, and the company expects to close the lastof several Canadian deals this month. Pioneer has major operationsin the United States, Canada and Argentina.
Quicksilver Resources Inc. of Fort Worth, TX, closed on theacquisition of substantially all of Unocal Corp.’s Spirit Energy 76unit’s gas and oil assets in Michigan. Total consideration was $27million in cash and 404,381 shares of Quicksilver common stock. Thetransaction is effective January 1, 1999.
Incremental prices closed out the month of January once againdefying bearish demand factors. In deals done Friday, most averagesvaried little from their Thursday positions. And though traderswere separating weekend business into Saturday/Sunday andMonday-only deals due to the shift from January to February, theyreported little appreciable difference in pricing between the twotime periods.
Natural gas futures closed higher after a weak start yesterdayas traders were able to look past the dismal fundamental outlook tofocus on the short-covering activity at hand. That lifted the Marchcontract a modest 3.4 cents to finish at $1.86 on its first day asthe prompt month.
Gulf Canada Resources said it closed on a 50-50 partnershipagreement with KeySpan Energy for the operation of its natural gasmidstream business in western Canada. Cash consideration paid byKeySpan was $290 million (US$189 million) to Gulf plus a $100million (US$65 million) loan to the partnership. The cash willoffset significant charges Gulf took during the third quarterprimarily related to crude oil asset write-downs.
The futures market began the week Tuesday in the same fashion itclosed out last week – probing higher amid a technical bouncesupported by continued apprehension about tropical storm activity.That enabled the October contract to post a gain for its third dayin a row by advancing 9.1 cents to $1.874.
The July contract closed out the week on a positive note aslight short-covering and position squaring bolstered the market6.5-cents to settle at $2.035 on Friday. July was not the only bigwinner, with nearby August also coming to life. August was up 7.3cents bringing the 12-month strip to $2.329.
Kentucky’s two largest electric utilities – Louisville Gas andElectric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) – announced theyclosed their merger deal yesterday, setting the stage for thecombined energy company to become a “more formidable” regionalutility competitor.